It happened. More than three years after the start of this (sometimes very difficult) journey, it happened.
"It's always about the boys", said Rio.
A dull, jagged knife ripped through my heart.
She's right. It's always about the boys. From Oct 15, 2009 (the day the pregnancy got complicated) our life has been about the boys. Their health, their safety, their therapy, their CP - everything is about the boys.
Not to say she doesn't get attention - she does - and lots of it. She gets quality time with each parent. She has her own sports and interests. She knows full well she is the princess that rules this roost.
But she also knows that in the background, the well being of her brothers is always considered.
I don't doubt that she has felt overshadowed all along, of course she has. But she loves her role. She adores being a big sister, and she relishes knowing how much of a little helper she is. That however, doesn't preclude her from feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all sometimes.
I could say the same thing about myself. I love being a mom. I adore my kids and all that comes with being their caregiver. But sometimes does it all get a little heavy? Do I want to run away screaming and just have some me time? Do I wish that life was just a little bit easier? YOU BET.
So when I think about it like that, it makes Rio even braver and more wonderful than I realized. Because you see, I have those little meltdowns all the time, but it has taken Rio over three years to do so! And sure, maybe it's only now that she's mature enough to verbalize the words, but in the past she's never even had a tantrum about it.
When she had her little cry yesterday, I just responded "I know Ri, I know it's hard. Mommy gets that".
You know what she said?
"It's just so hard for us, being the big girls, isn't it mommy?". She is so completely selfless, that she immediately empathized with me. This is OUR problem, not just hers. We, "the big girls" of this family, have it hard. You're right Ri, sometimes we do.
She is so amazing. I am beyond proud of her. I know now, more than ever, that our five souls chose each other. Just like Asher and Nolan were meant to have CP, and Jordan and I were meant to be their parents, Rio is the final piece of the puzzle. Rio was always meant to be the glue that holds this family together.