Dear Mom and Dad,
I’m the “other” kid in the family… the one who doesn’t have a disability. I see you looking worried sometimes and I get worried, too. I thought if I wrote down what I worry about it might help me. Here goes…
- I want you to live a long time. I want you to be around to care for us. The teacher said people need to exercise and eat right to stay healthy… so do that, okay?
- I wish you laughed more.
- I want to do stuff with you sometimes ALONE! I get jealous of the time you spend with my sister/brother. I don’t like feeling jealous. My friends get jealous of their sisters and brothers, too. I guess it’s normal, but it’s hard to talk about.
- When people ask me how I feel, I don’t just feel jealous. I feel mad, guilty, happy, grateful, embarrassed, resentful and other things, too, like any other kid.
- Just hold me sometimes. You’re so busy, I feel like you don’t have time for that kind of stuff.
- I don’t want to baby-sit my sister/brother so much. It scares me to do your job. It’s okay for me to help out. I know other kids have to help their parents, too, just not all the time, okay?
- Sometimes I think it’s all my fault you’re so tired and down, like maybe I am supposed to cheer you up.
- Include me when decisions are made about vacations and other stuff. I want to understand more about what goes on with the therapy stuff, too. It helps me when you explain about the disability and include me in the plans you make. They affect all of us.
- Treat yourself well. I want you to show me how good life can be. I get afraid about what it’s like to be grown-up when you seem so down all the time.
- I guess I’m trying to tell you I’m not a perfect kid either. I that okay?
Your “other” kid