They know that they can ask us anything and that we'll answer them honestly, but for the most part, the kids have stayed quiet during those conversations. With how intense the topics have been lately, I know it takes time for them to process what they've heard. Sometimes, it will be days and days later that one of the kids asks a question or offers a thought about what they heard. But, oh, what insight!
The latest dinnertime discussion the kids heard was about two weeks ago. It was regarding the neuropathy in Ronan's legs. That news really rattled us. It really rattled Ronan's siblings too. That night, the kids quickly offered to help their brother. They brainstormed some ideas of what they could make to help Ronan before further atrophy occurs. They asked if we could get a scooter (tricked out of course), a pool (with slides and a splash pad), and a service dog (who they'll teach to gently nudge Ronan when he needs help).
We said no to the scooter (but are actively looking at walkers with the PT), no to the pool (we'll get passes to the one down the street), and not now for the dog (as much as we think we are ready for a dog, we are so not ready for a dog). Little Buddy then asked if he could invent robot legs. We said go for it.
Out of the blue, while we were at the doctor's office yesterday, Little Buddy asked me, "Mommy, when will Ronan's legs stop working?" Holding back tears, I told him that we're going to do everything that we can to keep Ronan active before anything more happens to his legs. I told him that we can all encourage Ronan to walk, to climb, to swing in his swing, and to move around on his own. I also told him he can always pray for his brother. I know that he already does that. Little Buddy and his classmates pray daily for Ronan.
Since it had been a few weeks since we'd discussed the neuropathy I asked Little Buddy why that thought crossed his mind. He told me it's because he wrote a poem about Ronan a few days ago. I asked him if I could read it. He said sure.
Movement in my brother's legs is going,
That's bad for a kid who's barely growing.
Without him knowing.
He cannot talk,
Soon won't walk.
If that's not enough,
He already can't do a lot of stuff.
A dog is what we'll get
For him to stand up straight,
To keep as a pet
Then things will be just great.
I cried both sad tears and happy tears. Little Buddy turned a sad thought into a hopeful one. With a reminder that the kids really, really, really want a dog.
Someday, kiddo. Someday.