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22 Leaves To Take Out Of My Sister's Book

22 Leaves To Take Out Of My Sister's Book

Posted on: Wednesday 18 April 2018

Today is my sister's 22nd birthday and I wanted to write a post to mark the occasion. Bethany has PMLD (profound and multiple learning difficulties) and we're always trying to teach her new things to help her development so I thought it would be nice to turn that around and consider some of the things she's taught me instead.

1. Don't worry about what other people think. To the level of burping brazenly in restaurants, Bethany really doesn't care what other people think. The rest of us tend to care far too much about the approval of people we don't even know (although I'm certainly not suggesting we all start burping in restaurants).

2. Take pleasure in the little things. It's the little things that make my sister laugh the most; people blowing raspberries on her neck, clanging her spoon on the table or her favourite toy after a long day. If we all stopped to appreciate the smaller things more, I think we'd be a lot happier.

3. A charming smile means you can get away with anything. Or at least you can when you're Bethany.

4. Actions speak louder than words. Bethany can't talk, but she has no problem in communicating. Her small ways of showing affection and letting us know what she wants prove that actions really do speak louder than words.

5. Don't hide your feelings. Bethany doesn't try and hide what she feels; if she's grumpy or not in the mood to do something she makes sure she lets you know. It's a small reminder that it's important to be open and honest about our feelings (says she who is never open or honest about her feelings...)

6. Sleep is important. Proven by the above point that Bethany never hides her feelings and she is always grumpy when she hasn't had enough sleep.

7. A cuddle is the best medicine. That is all.

8. There's always more to learn. We're still teaching Bethany new things; how to walk, new ways of communicating and we should be investing in our own learning and development too. Just because you've left school doesn't mean you can't actively learn.

9. Patience really is a virtue. I mean, Bethany isn't patient at all, but you certainly have to be patient around her! It could mean she achieves more or it might make her laugh for longer, either way patience never has negative results.

10. Don't be afraid to fight for what you want. If Bethany wants a drink she will shout until you get her one. If she wants a specific toy she'll push you away until you get her what she wants. She knows exactly what she wants and she'll do whatever it takes to get it. If only I were that sassy...

11. Know your worth. I think a lot of the above has shown that Bethany knows what she wants, she'll demand it and we'll get it for her because she's worth it.

12. There's nothing better than your favourite TV show on repeat. Or Bethany's favourite TV show on repeat...I could recite Teletubbies in my sleep.

13. Deal with things then get on with life. Nothing phases Bethany; whether she's ill or in pain she rarely complains, she just gets through it and then forgets about it.

14. If you're ill, milk it. Slightly contrary to the above, when Bethany has a cough you really know about it (to the point where members of the public will look concerned about our nonchalance at her apparent choking), whereas I tend to push myself to the point of burnout when I'm ill. There's probably a happy medium...

15. Don't take crap from anyone. Try and mess Bethany around and she'll mess you around right back.

16. Smile more often. It doesn't take much effort, but you can really brighten someone's day.

17. Take your time. Bethany doesn't do things quickly, which forces us to slow down a little too. We've spent much more time together as a family round the kitchen table over the years simply because she takes her time over her food!

18. Never underestimate the kindness of strangers. Whether it's people who stop and help when you're in a tricky situation or the guy in front of you in the queue who simply laughs in response to Bethany groping his bum, people are nice.

19. But don't be naive and assume they're all nice...because some people really are just ignorant.

20. If you can't get someone's attention just shout at them, hit them or in severe cases bite them. Not really I'm joking...Bethany does that, but I wouldn't advise you do.

21. People who would do anything for you do exist. 

22. The greatest gift you can give someone is unconditional love.

What have your siblings taught you?

Amy x


  1. This is such a lovely post Amy, and Bethany sounds so wonderful too. How incredible that she’s taught you so much, as you teach her things too. My sister has taught me pure, unconditional love, that striving to be your best self is possible, and that you can do anything you put your mind to.

    How funny, I’ve been meaning to write a post up about my sister too! xx

    1. Thank you lovely! Aw you definitely should, I would love to read it :) xx

  2. What a beautiful list, they all sound like brilliant things to have learnt and for others to live by too! My sister has taught me to worry less and not care what other people think.
    Have a lovely day :)
    Rosanna x
    Rose's Rooftop

    1. They're excellent things to live by too! Thanks Rosanna, hope you're having a lovely week xx

  3. Such a beautiful post Amy and really made me think about the relationship I have with my siblings - I'm the shy one so they definitely teach me how to have more confidence in myself x

    1. Thank you! That's great that they bring the confidence out in you! xx

  4. Oh what a sweet post! Happy birthday to your sister! it's great that you have learned so much from her - I'm sure she will continue to inspire and teach you in the years to come :)

    Hope you have had a great week so far and you have a lovely weekend ahead of you! It's been a bit cooler and rainy this week here but I'm not complaining, I'm excited Autumn is starting to arrive at last :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

    1. Thank you so much! She had a lovely day, I met her for coffee :)

      It's the exact opposite here! We've just got a heatwave which feels like bliss after it's been cold and miserable for so long! xx

  5. This is such a beautiful, heart warming post. Exactly what I needed to read on a Sunday morning :) ps. I agree, cuddles and hugs for the win
    Hope your having a lovely weekend xx

    1. Aw I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Hope you had a lovely weekend xx

  6. Wishing your lovely sister Bethany a very happy belated birthday! It sounds like she has a lot of things figured out about the world, and I couldn't agree more that we all need to take a leaf out of her book! Knowing your worth and that you deserve the world is so powerful and leads you to way more happiness! Caring less about what people think is something that I need to take on board, I think that I would be a lot less stressed out and a lot more content with my life if I gave less of a crap! This was a wonderful post to dedicate to Bethany, I'm sure she adores you and appreciate everything you do for her every day!

    Abbey xx

    1. Thanks so much Abbey! She is much wiser than me when it comes to not caring and knowing her worth for sure! x


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