Today my firstborn asked the question again, as Noah was having his home therapy session, "Noah is 5, why isn't he talking and walking and eating like Saif? Saif is just 3." And to that my usual answer would be, "Because Noah is special. But you must always doa for him."
It really is difficult to explain to an 8 year old, why is his little brother "special"? Why is his little brother different from them? What makes him that way and why? Telling Hadi about his brother's medical condition would be too advanced but to explain it using faith and fate, qada and qadar, would it be too much for his childish mind? I would usually resort to the same old answer, "Allah makes him that way, he is special and we must always love and care for him". It doesn't satisfy Hadi but more often than not, he knows enough not to ask further.
But I love that this gives him more awareness and empathy. The other day we saw a girl on a wheelchair at the park and Hadi said lovingly, "the girl is special, just like Noah."
Maybe when you're older, you'd understand, Hadi. That sometimes things you can't change will end up changing you instead. And that sometimes you don't need to question the what and why and just embrace fate with our faith and a pinch of sense of humour. And most importantly, to continue loving unconditionally.