Today, I heard a little voice in the back seat ask me if he could roll up the picture of his brother and hide it. Through silent tears, I asked him why he wanted to do this. His response: "Mom I don't want anyone to know I had a brother. I don't want them to know his head didn't grow right. What if they find out and tease me?"
I can't tell you how much my heart hurt to hear these words.
I thought back to this photo. A four year old little boy who was so excited and proud to finally hold his little brother. Two parents who tried to shield their son from the defect beneath a hat...only to have the hat fall off...and then to hear that little boy exclaim how beautiful his brother was after seeing him as God created.
Today my heart hurt over the fact that a five year old has to worry about being judged by his peers. Kids can and will be cruel. He has already had a taste of this cruelness over insignificant objects... insignificant to an adult but very meaningful to a child. I could only imagine the hurt he would feel if something was said about his brother. Until today, I never really thought through how Spencer's view of the world would change after experiencing death.
As much as we want to, we can't shelter and protect our children from the hurt and pain of life. However, we can teach them as much as possible before sending them out into the real world. Some of the best teaching measures are set by example.....Showing them unconditional love and cultivating that love to grow and flourish is one of the best examples around. It is my job as a mom to make sure the little boy in the picture does not disappear.