Jacob invited a friend from school to go to church with us Wednesday night. This is a new friend and he isn't as familiar with our family as most of our friends are so when we proceeded to get Sophie Kate's wheelchair out of the back of the van, he had some questions.
"What's that for?" he asked. Jacob told him it was for his sister and that she was not able to walk or talk. It was at this point that Grey chimed in with "but she is still able to let us know how she is doing." "How?" he asked. Grey let him know that when SK smiles we know that she is happy and that when she cries we know that she is hurting or feels bad.
Jacob then added that when she was born she didn't get enough blood and oxygen to her brain and that she has some damage to her brain so that is why she can't walk or talk. This went on for a minute or two and I just listened as I busied myself getting SK into her wheelchair. Yes shocker, I said nothing. These are the same things I have said to them from time to time when they have had questions about their sister.
In fact just a few weeks ago, Grey said to me that he was sad for Sophie. When I asked him why he said because she isn't able to "run and stuff." It was then that we talked about how she is able to communicate with us in her own way, that we know when she is happy and when she isn't. Now here they are teaching and informing others about her. It wasn't sad it wasn't difficult or embarrassing for them. It is just who she is and it came through in their own words how much they know and how much they care about her.
This friend may have gotten more information than he ever wanted but he seemed to understand and it was no big deal to him and I think it would have been different if I had answered him. Hearing it explained by someone your own age who speaks in words you can understand makes a difference. Also, seeing that Jacob and Grey were perfectly at ease in the situation goes a long way too. They want to push her, they put their hands on her, they hug and kiss her and they help gather her bags so their friends see them as not standoffish or afraid but comfortable and at ease. It's a beautiful thing and I saw it all play out right in front of me.
Thanks for checking in on us.