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One of My Daughters Has Special Needs. Please Don't Question the Attention I Give Her.

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When parenting, something I have feared is that caring for Laura, who has Angelman syndrome, might take time away from Charlie. I feared I would spend more time trying to help her with her needs and I wouldn’t be able to give Charlie enough time. I feared she might feel left out. It’s been a few months and I feel like I have a good handle on it. I don’t feel like Charlie is “lacking” in the mom department.

But then, people often start talking about how “everything is all about Laura…when does Charlie get any action?”

Charlie, my first born, learned to crawl at 5 months, and I was filled with so much pride and joy. I videotaped it, because it was amazing and I cherish those videos of her. Laura learning to crawl on her hands and knees will be a huge deal. She has a hard time controlling those movements. When Laura starts crawling, it’s going to be a feeling of pride and joy also, and I will video tape it then too. But I may have to keep Charlie out of the shot. You may ask why? Well that’s a two-part answer: 1. Charlie gets excited and often distracts Laura from doing what we want her to do. 2. She already learned how to crawl and this video is Laura’s. She will have worked over a year to get there. I will feel the same pride and the same joy I felt when Charlie had her own moment years ago. It doesn’t mean I don’t care for Charlie.

I’m teaching her in that moment to be proud of her sister and let her have that accomplishment.

It’s frustrating to me when people assume Charlie isn’t getting enough from me because I have to care for Laura. If you were in my home, you’d notice Charlie gets more from me because of Laura.

She gets more life lessons on grace, humility, patience and acceptance.

She gets the unconditional love of a little sister who thinks the world of her. The little sister who for a long time would only calm down when Charlie talked sweetly to her.

Yes, transitions haven’t been easy on Charlie (or any of us really), but she will be more resilient. We are fine and Charlie is doing great, even if a lot of the videos you see are of Laura’s progress. So, please keep these kind of comments to yourselves.

Follow this journey on Crow Fam Blog

Originally published: August 18, 2016
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