Special Needs Dad 365

I’m not sure what it is like to be a girl and to have a sister and I certainly don’t know what it’s like to be a twin. I also have no experience as a sibling to a sister with disabilities. From the moment Hailey and Livy were born, they have had a special relationship. Hailey never realized what made Livy different. That’s the only way she knew her.

As Hailey matures, she is much more in tune with the challenges that Livy faces. She also recognizes the responsibilites that go hand in hand with Livy’s care. When the two of us travel to speak and I have been on stage telling part of Livy’s story, Hailey admits that it has gotten harder to hear. She is often now in tears when I finish. She has an amazing sense of empathy.

What I find so wonderful is that Hailey never judges Livy. She has never said a negative or derogatory word about her sister. I remember growing up and being fairly angry at my sister on a number of occasions. Hailey has never made Allison, Livy, or me feel guilty about the things we can't do. Perhaps most of all she is patient especially with Livy. Hailey can sit on the couch for a half an hour as we ask her, “Are you ready to go?” and then say, “Hold on, we have to change Livy’s diaper.” Next, “Are you ready to go? Wait a minute, we have to get Livy’s food together.” This happens regularly.

I love watching Hailey hug and kiss Livy. I love watching Hailey talk to people about Livy and how proud of her she is. I love how Hailey has never disrespected Livy in front of her friends but encourages them to ask questions and to better understand. Hailey always says, “Livy is my biggest inspiration.” I feel blessed to witness such devotion between sisters.