A reader left me a comment last week that really took me back. This was the comment:
” I feel so badly for Trinity. She’s been neglected and deprived a healthy emotional state. I’m unable to understand why it’s more important to devote 99% of yourself to a daughter for whom that investment will yield the least results and make virtually no difference in her life than to the daughters for whom your presence and devotion would make the greatest difference and mean the world – not only to them but to the impact your deposits into them will make in their children and so forth. I cannot imagine institutionalizing a child but when I see the reality that is the life of your other daughters and your marriage, I cannot imagine not institutionalizing.”
I appreciate all my readers and even though I completely disagree with her comment it made me think that I may not be doing a good job conveying all the wonderful things Tiara adds to the family. Not only is she the center of our family, but we wouldn’t be the Goff family without her. She may be difficult and require more care than the other two but the benefits of having her in our home far outweigh the negatives. Putting aside my own feelings, which are, I couldn’t live with myself if Tiara was in an institution and I am pretty sure she would die from a broken heart if she didn’t live with us, I know my girls love having her in our home. So without considering Tiara, Lou or myself and only looking at the impact Tiara has on the life of her siblings this is what I know.
- Tiara is the one Tabitha and Trinity look for when they first wake up or walk in the door from a long day of school or work.
- Tiara is the one who can get anyone smiling when she busts out a dance move and starts shaking so much the car actually moves or the foundation of the house appears to be at risk of cracking.
- Tiara is the one who burps in your face, smiles and then says “I burp,” followed by a laugh.
- Tiara is the one who runs around the house in sheer shirts with no bra and a diaper with flesh everywhere, smiling and laughing as if she was a cover model. Her overwhelming love of herself is contagious. It reminds the girls that you don’t have to have perfect teeth, a perfect body, perfect skin, perfect clothes, etc… to love yourself. Tiara is obese, has chipped front teeth, tumors on her skin, wears crazy un-matching outfits that she thinks are “hot” and yet she knows she is great and her sisters think she is adorable and beautiful. Plus, they are actually jealous of how photogenic she is!
- Tiara is the one who runs up to them when they seem sad and gives them a hug followed by the words “sad”.
- Tiara is the one who always says thank you for absolutely everything, reminding them to always be appreciative.
- Tiara is the one they can tell a story to about a boy, a friend, or something that happened at school and she will match their emotions and not make any negative comments. If they are happy, she is happy for them. If they are over the top thrilled, Tiara will start running the house in circles, screaming “yay, yay, happy, happy.” Her behavior just reinforces their mood and makes Tabitha and Trinity feel really understood and cared about. They are both always telling her about their day whether they think she “gets it or not.” She loves listening to them talk and they love having someone who always wants to hear their stories.
- Tiara is the only one who will let Tabitha clean her ears. Tabitha has an obsession with cleaning people’s ears and almost everyday, Tiara will lay down and let Tabitha get to work.
So, yes living with Tiara can be hard, exhausting, frustrating and a challenge especially in social situations but her sisters would never trade her for a “healthy, normal” sister. A “normal” sister may make for an easier life, but would it better? I don’t know, but what I do know is they get unconditional love from Tiara. That is a gift which is hard to come by.
I would also like to point out the fact that I do not spent 99% of my time focused on Tiara. Yes she gets more time than the other two, but because I know that, I am hyper-vigilant about the other two and their lives. I do absolutely everything I can in my power to make sure they get all the emotional love and support they need. Plus, because I am always home with Tiara, they always know where to find me. I am not off lunching, working outside the home, working out at the gym, doing dinner dates, attending galas, going to fundraisers, etc. I am home, waiting for them to hear about their day.
So, I am guessing I may have lost a reader by responding to her comment publicly but I am grateful she made the comment because, had she not, I wouldn’t have realized I was being short-sided in my presentation of our family life. As one reader once told me “your blog is like a reality show but a reality blog.” I loved his comment but now I have to remind myself to show all aspects of our life on my reality blog, not just the crappy stuff.
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