Joy's older sister Rose, age 6, had a lot going on this past weekend. First we had the camping trip, and then after we got back on Sunday and had lunch, she had a playdate with a classmate from school. When she got to her friend's house, another classmate was there too, and then her friend's little sister (about Joy's age) woke up from nap and the four of them ran around like crazy.
Later in the evening, Rose talked me into watching a bit of football on TV with her instead of our usual bedtime reading. (Is she her daddy's daughter, or what?) As we watched, out of the blue, she suddenly said, "I wonder what it would be like if Joy didn't have autism and epilepsy, and she could play with me more."
I figured out right away that this was coming from the playdate experience with her friend's little sister, and Rose confirmed that this was what she'd been thinking. I was happy that my voice stayed steady as I agreed, yes, that things would be different.
And then I mused that it would probably be different too to be like her best friend who doesn't have a sister or brother at all. Or to be like one family we know where there are something like 6 or 7 years between the older brother and the Joy-aged brother. Yes, Rose agreed, that would be different too.
Then she came back to Joy, and she reminded herself (I didn't even have to say it!) that she does play peek-a-boo and chase with Joy, and that they do have fun.
And then Rose said that even if things were different, "I would still love her anyway."
And then the ref threw a flag and the conversation turned back to the football game, and she hoped the flag was against the Packers.