LIFE WITH LIVY
| Episode 14: 10/19/2012 - A Sister's True Talent
I often wonder what Hailey would have been like had Livy not been born with disabilities. Would she be as considerate, empathetic and loving as she is today? Would she be as compassionate, tolerant, and mature when interacting with people? I really don't know the answer. The fact is, Allison and I would still have raised her with the same values...love your family, be polite, kind and respectful and value life for all that it is. But Livy has taught her lessons about life that we never could have.
To see Hailey wander into Livy's room to say good morning is a beautiful sight. She climbs into Livy's bed, cuddles right up next to her and puts Livy's arms around her. Then they smile together and Hailey laughs as Livy unknowingly tickles her. When Livy is on her mat on the floor, Hailey gets down right next to her and rolls around with her. She is constantly encouraging Livy to do her best.
A few days ago, Livy had a bad night. She may have had a touch of a cold or virus. Whatever was going on was enough to throw her system out of balance. She awoke often during the night with what looked like night terrors but what we knew were seizures. Luckily, it seems to have been an isolated occurrence. We are used to seeing Livy during all types of episodes but what was different this time, was Hailey's reaction to them. As Hailey gets older, she understands more of what Livy is going through and it becomes harder for her to watch. Hailey actually had to leave the room because she couldn't bear to see Livy's little body tightening and shaking. That night, Hailey prayed that her sister would be okay.
It is a difficult thing when a child realizes that the world is not just about playing with friends, playing games and watching her favorite TV shows. But Hailey handles it with such grace and admiration. She loves her sister so much and always comments that Livy is the best sister in the world. I have a feeling that later in life, when Hailey is asked who her role model was when growing up, she will say it was Livy. I believe Hailey will say that Livy showed her what it was like to have unconditional love, how to be an inspiration and what best friends do for each other. As a father, I strive to teach Hailey right from wrong, good from bad. But I will never be able to offer the insight and wisdom into the meaning of life that Livy has taught Hailey already.
Over the last eight weeks, Hailey has been taking guitar lessons. She is learning quickly and practices nearly every night. Last week, one of Livy's classmates, Georgie, who we call Livy's boyfriend, turned nine. Georgie and his family are dear friends of ours. We met them six years ago and consider them part of our family. Allison had told Livy's teacher that Hailey was learning the guitar so she asked if Hailey would like to play "Happy Birthday" for Georgie in the classroom. Hailey blissfully agreed and this video captures so many facets of Hailey's true talent.