The following is from Ashleigh. She had just turned seven when Davin was born and was still seven when we learned that Davin had cerebral palsy. She has held him while he was seizing, stood up for him, and taken care of the entire tribe when Alan and I would go out on dates. It never seemed a burden to her to have a little brother who was maybe a little different than other little brothers.
When Ashleigh writes of her and Bethany and Cheney's protective nature with Davin, it is no joke. I won't go into detail, but there could have been an incident where a younger child was in some hot water with my bigger kids and we decided that from then on, we would drive them to school instead of them riding the bus;-)
Here are her words....
When my Mom asked me
to write how it was growing up with a sibling who had special needs, I didn't
know what I could possibly write. I remember when Davin was born, but I
honestly don't remember my parents telling us that he had cerebral palsy or
how I reacted. At that point it didn't matter. Davin was my brother and he
would forever be that to me no matter what label was placed on him.
siblings and I wanted Davin to be around us for everything and that's what we
tried to do. If we thought Davin could do it with us, he was right there next to
us. We would drag him downstairs to watch TV with us,we would put him in the
laundry basket and push him around, we would lay him on the trampoline and
fling him around. We treated him the same as we would any other sibling. We
didn't baby him because that's just not how we roll in the Hester family.
of us other siblings are very protective of Davin. We grew up hearing lots of
different things when we went out and we all knew when that happened we would
give “the look”. Davin is the youngest and is in a wheelchair, so we felt like
we had to step up our game. I remember that we would all get so mad if anyone ever
said anything about him or to him even if it was just a curious little child
who had no idea. I would always think, "What kind of parents do they have where
their parents have not taught them that God made us all different? And how rude
and hurtful it can be to stare or point at people who don't look the same as
Growing up, I felt bad for those kids because they didn't have a Davin in
their lives. I never thought of it as a hardship being his sister, having to
give him baths, feeding him when my parents were away or just laying in bed reading
him a book. Davin was considered normal to us kids because that's what we grew
up with. Everyone else looking in saw something different, but to us it was all
we ever knew and we wouldn't have traded it for the world. Davin changed our
family and our hearts without us even realizing it. All of us kids have a
different relationship with each other and none of us are the same, but I
believe because of Davin it brought us all closer together. We may all live in
different states now, but we love each other and the bond that the four of us have will
never be broken.