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Challenge: Raising Siblings

To Their Teachers, I Hope You'll Understand

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I didn't write a real letter; it seemed a bit silly, but I wish I had. I want them to know. I want their teachers to know about our family and their common denominator, little brother Amos. I worry about him, I worry about them and I worry about them worrying about him. They do and I do and we do. We all wonder and tiptoe and hold our breath and we hope for Amos to just be one of the gang.

He's not though and that's what I want you to know. There are four of them and he is the youngest. He will be turning three years old this month and be joining his siblings at their elementary school. Yes, we will have one school year where they are all within the same building. He will be in a class of eight and all boys, right now. All have some special need of their own and it is the place where we hope our Amos will bloom and grow.

I am left nervous and teary and knowing his siblings are near gives me space to breathe and trust it will be okay. I want them to be proud of him and I want them to know where he is and to check on him once in a while. Would that be okay with you? I'd like for them to speak proudly of the younger brother and to feel a part of his education, as much as I do. Would you ask about him and encourage a visit, perhaps even send a classmate or two on a visit after lunch every now and then?

I never had a sibling with special needs. I never had a friend much different than myself and none of my friends had siblings with special needs. This is all new to me and I want to do it right. I feel like being open and honest and talking about Amos is the right thing for us. I would rather have questions than muffled murmurs and I want his three siblings to soak in the love we have been granted with the gift of Amos. I know you have plenty to do, but please remember the little boy and the mother that wants her children to think and feel and acknowledge a life that is traveled off the beaten path is invaluable.

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