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Daddies and Mommies

on June 20, 2011

Yesterday was Father’s Day, so I feel the need to post a little something about this very special day when we celebrate our Fathers. Some of us had Fathers present all throughout our childhood, while others (like me), are a product of divorce, which often results in the whole “2 weeks at summer, 1 week at Christmas thing.” No worries, I’m not complaining; my Dad and I have made such wonderful strides into my adulthood that I cherish our relationship more than I ever could have as a teenager. But this particular post is not about me.

When I first knew something was different about Alex (around 18 months), my husband was skeptical. Many husbands in this situation are, as it somehow bruises their ego to imply that the child they sired might have some sort of disability. But with the help of many outside sources, we got Alex evaluated, screened and jumped through every hoop necessary until we got our diagnosis of Autism. Once the diagnosis was established at the age of 3 years, my husband embraced the situation with grace; the pride melted away and he wanted to help. No all husbands do, which is very sad, but also a reality.

Has it been difficult? Yes. Has it had an effect on our marriage? Absolutely. But we have to stick together on this, and we definitely need to take time to ourselves once in a while, in our to nurture our marriage. Don’t ever forget that, if you are the parents of a child(ren) with ASD or any disability. The divorce rate in America is 50% and rising, and that percentage goes up if you have 1 special needs child, not to mention multiples. So cling to each other. Guard your marriage. And if you want my two cents about it, let go and let God be at the center of your marriage, and you won’t fail.

So anyway, every year on Father’s Day, we go down to Duane’s brother’s to celebrate his Father. It was an especially important year, because Duane’s Father, Al, is currently fighting cancer, for which he is battling with chemo and radiation. Now, as other Autism mommies know, it’s not easy too take your child anywhere without the control-your-kid “looks” and general, overall distaste for the way a kid with ASD acts when he gets overstimulated. But our family is really starting to attempt to accept and allow hime to be himself, which is quite a relief.

Well, this year, I decided to let the dads relax while I watched over Alex when he was playing outside in the backyard (which is, thankfully, fenced in). Alex sat down on the grass and said “roll?” We have been watching Tangled a lot lately and one of the thigs she does is roll down a grassy hill much like the one at Alex”s uncle’s place =)

So I taught my son to roll down the hill, which he thought was just the best thing ever (excpt I’m a bit old for that)! When his counsins figured out what we were doing, they joined in the fun, and soon I was rolling each kid down the hill over and over! I was proud of myself…I was playing with my son outdoors (which I am not good at).

We need to be engaging our kids in play…we need to get down on our knees and get dirty if we have to…I personally need to do more of this for his sake, and I know that.

Moral of the story? Nurture your marriage; guard it with everything you have. Dedicate time to play with you child for at least 15 minutes a day; you’ll see a world of difference! The blog today isn’t profound writing, It’s not especially inspirational. But if I have you are thinking a little harder about how you can play with your kids and support your marriage in the meantime, that makes me ecstatic! Let’s NOT be a part of the statistics…let’s start turning them around and work together to help our children successful!

Happy Father’s Day, especially to the dads of Special Needs kids that make dates and free time almost nonexistent at times. Men, support your wives in their efforts. Women, be the picture of grace when your husband needs a little time to himself. And don’t forget to love your family above all else…and that means every member!


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