A few weeks ago I was struck by the lyrics to the first verse of Ellie Holcomb’s “Find You Here”…
“It’s not the news that any of us hoped that we would hear
It’s not the road we would have chosen, no
The only thing that we can see is darkness up ahead
But You’re asking us to lay our worry down and sing a song instead”
Since Zella’s diagnosis in June of 2016, one of my biggest fears has been that Cole, Vera, and Asher will eventually grow to resent their youngest sibling…becoming embarrassed by Zella and her behaviors that are never age-appropriate. Her therapies are a huge time suck and she is growing more and more difficult when it comes to bringing her to events with the rest of the family. One day she will no longer look like a toddler, and from that day forward the general public will have even less tolerance for Zella. Intellectual disability is a four letter word, striking fear and animosity in the hearts of other human beings.
Today I realized something monumental, however. I may not be able to convince the public at large that Zella is still a person and her life is still worth the same as my own or anyone else’s, but I will not spend any more of my time worrying about whether Cole, Vera, and Asher will love her the same as they love their other siblings.
This afternoon as we drove back from Atlanta, Cole told me all about his audition. I was shocked to hear what he said to the casting director, though.
“They asked me if I had a big or small family, so I told them our family is big. Then I told them about Zella…that she has special needs…and that Vera and Asher and I build forts for her. I said she likes to knock them down, so now we use Asher as the wall to the fort and it seems to work better.”
They don’t love her the same.
They love her more.
And that is fine with me.