Saturday morning. We are still asleep until a burst of laughter serves as my alarm clock.
I stay still but listen carefully as I am sure they are up to no good.
In the living room, Jaiden is laughing hysterically. Jordyn returns the favor.
“Jaiden, watch me,” Jordyn instructs. “Do this. Paper. Rock. Scissors.”
Jai laughs. Jor laughs.
Jaiden is only eight months and three weeks older than her little sis but Jordyn feels compelled to show Jaiden the ways of the world. As a first grader, Jordyn is all about determining major life decisions based on “Paper, Rock, Scissors.” And as the sister of a special needs child, Jordyn has taken it upon herself to help Jaiden no matter how many times we tell Jordyn it isn’t her job.
“Okay, let’s do this again,” she insists. “This is how you make paper. Paper beats rock but rock beats scissors. But dynamite beats everything. Get it?”
They go on for at least twenty minutes before Jordyn gives up. She doesn’t give up on Jaiden but she’s ready to move to another life lesson.
It would be easy to give up on a kid like Jaiden. Her seventh birthday is upon us and she has yet to walk independently. Still in that lime green walker. She now has full-fledged conversations but you understand them even better if you know Jaidenese. And she’s finally writing her name but it isn’t pretty.
Nevertheless, Jaiden is amazing. Every day, she amazes me. She inspires me. She inspires people around her. And she inspires her little sister.
I have been asked and I have even asked myself, ‘When is it as good as it gets? When should the treatments and medicines and therapies and surgeries stop because she simply isn’t getting better?’ Believe me, that is a loaded question. I struggle with on a daily basis.
When do I give up on my daughter?
No one knows what the future holds. In fact, while today I worry and pray about Jaiden, there is no guarantee that Jordyn will get through her childhood problem-free. There is no guarantee she will not develop a disorder, come down with a sickness, be unable to walk. I pray that isn’t the case but the reality of the matter is that nothing is guaranteed.
The last chapter has not yet been written. And everything boils down to that last chapter.
One of the most amazing moments of my life was watching Jaiden being born. Another amazing moment was when papers were signed, sealed, delivered and she officially became ours. And yet another amazing moment I yearn for is the day she takes her first unassisted steps. But who could possibly downplay the time Jordyn spent teaching Jaiden about “Paper, Rock, Scissors?”
Page 2 of 2 - So, when do I give up?
Paper. Rock. Scissors.
Dynamite! My answer is the same as Jordyn’s answer: never.
Jaime Simpson is a Gazette columnist, the busy mother of two girls, a wife and business owner.