Kind of Little

As parents, we observe over time how the family relationships of our child with special needs evolve. We invite you to explore this theme through a 2012 Liahona Project essay, “Kind of Little.”

One day when our youngest, Kate, was about 3, she came skipping into the kitchen and declared . . .

I love Matt.  He’s my little brother.

“That’s so sweet, honey.  But actually, he’s your big brother.”

Oh … yeah … but he’s kind of little, isn’t he?”

That spring when Matt was 5, they had “crossed paths.”  For a brief window in time, she had caught up with him and not quite yet passed him.  They liked hanging out together, singing silly songs, watching Sesame Street.  Yet in that brief exchange, I saw the window beginning to close, inevitably.

Thirty years later, Matt’s favorite playmate is Landon, Kate’s 2½ year old, who adores him.  They build towers with oversized Legos.  They sway companionably on the porch swing.  Occasionally, Matt accompanies him to the local library for something called “Wiggle Worms.” He is decidedly the tallest “teapot” in the room.

Sesame Street is once more a favorite.  “This is very educational,” says Matt as he and his nephew sit side by side on the sofa, transfixed by Elmo.

I watch their sweet companionship with a poignant heart.  This window, too, will close.  All too soon, Landon will begin to understand about his Uncle Matt.

He’s a tenderhearted little fellow though, and like his mother, will always love his tall buddy who … despite the graying hair … is kind of little.

4 Responses to “Kind of Little”

  1. Michelle Berrett Bodine

    Beautiful. My 9yr old daughter and 12yr old son have similar moments where she becomes the ‘older’ sibling. She has been able to use her experiences at home to help other special needs children at school and I can only hope this carries through her entire life. I often feel that disabilities aren’t always given so the bearer can overcome, but so those around them can learn to love stronger.

  2. Jana Shakespeare

    Beautiful! I love our Matt-man! He’s such a good uncle, too. I just wish we lived closer so he could play with my kids more, too.



  4. Annie Boxell Annie Boxell

    He is without question an awesome uncle.