Wednesday, October 14, 2009
And then today, on the way up the hill to her preschool Ruby started talking about Oscar too. Abe was about the same age when his questions about Oscar and disability really ramped up. Ruby is annoyed, frustrated, and perhaps even grieving a little. Having been down this road with Abe, who was angry and sad at age 5, I'm remembering that siblings are processing the disability at their age appropriate level and that, in a way, their grieving is more prolonged because they continue to grieve as their understanding matures. We adults can get the whole picture faster, but little kids grow into their understanding. For now, Ruby is grieving the brother that doesn't "play farm" with her the way she would like, the brother who talks funny and chews with his lips open. All I can do is listen, and maybe gently remind her that Oscar is trying, even when it seems like he isn't because everything is just so much harder for him.
Mostly, I want her to know she can feel anything, say anything to me. Over the years, with a lot of hard work, Abe and I have developed great communication and trust...but Roo is a different kid. This morning I definitely had that feeling of "here we go again..." but that's not really true. I don't know what Ruby's path to understanding Oscar and PWS will look like. All I can do is support her along the way.
And of course, I'm looking forward to getting to read Al Capone Does My Shirts with her in six years or so.