With this being the week of Father’s Day I thought it would only be fitting to talk about the guy that helped me create all these crazy kiddos. I feel like people give me a lot of praise for parenting Damion. In reality, far more than I deserve. I work hard with Damion, yes, but I also have a lot of help. Without this help I couldn’t do a fraction of the things I currently do to help Damion and as a family we couldn’t do all the fun family time we strive for either. My biggest helper, of course, is my husband, Adam.
I take note often of other people’s family dynamics. I know that you are not supposed to compare your life to others, and I try not to in a way that I am looking at what they have in envy. But even so, it is hard to not at least observe. I see the differences, and they are notable. Even if I don’t say them out loud. Of course, everyone is different, and as such many of the interworking’s of things in people’s marriages or parenting skills differ as well. But the difference I see most often, or the ones that seems to stand out to me the most at least, is between Adam and most other dads. I’m about to give Adam a lot of credit here. I fear if he reads this is will all go to his head but I guess I’ll just have to take the chance of him using this against me. There are probably lots of things that make Adam stand out above the crowd of others, but today I’m going to hit on two main things that stick out to me most.
The first is that he is a good sport. I am a festive person. I was always the kid that went all out for spirit week at school. I love themed parties, and family photos. I live my life insisting that we follow all the annoying traditions and adding more traditions to the list each year. I know that most of these are just my things, but he always goes along with me. He comes out in the cold with me and three rambunctious kids every year to see the lights at Christmas. He wears the themed t-shirts I get him for every birthday party. And every year at Halloween he puts on whatever ridiculous outfit he is assigned to fill out our family costume, and walks around town with us as the kids trick or treat. He is always a good sport about it all. He is always a team player. I know many other husbands that wouldn’t go along with even the small things on this list, but he does them all and surprisingly with very little complaining. I love him for that.
The second is that he is just more “there”. It is not so much a time thing. He is the breadwinner of the family and that requires work. Adam is an extremely hard worker, but even with all the time he has to put in at the office, he still finds the time to make it to everything important. But it’s more than that too. When he is there, he is much more involved than most other dads. I know some of this may just be how he is (he strives to be the best at everything he does) and some of it is likely just due to our situation. Being a parent is hard. Being a special needs parent is hard on another level. Damion is wonderful, but it is just a reality that Damion takes more of us. He requires parents who are more patient. He requires parents who are more attentive. Being able to just drop him off somewhere is a luxury we have in only a few small places and with only a few close family members. Leaving the house as a family requires a lot of working hands, more so than I have myself. Even going to a extended family party requires an involvement from us that other parents of children his age don’t generally have to give.
I look at many of these other Dad’s that get more time to themselves, whether it be extra time for work, extra hobbies, or just have lower expectations of involvement from their spouses overall. And then, I look at Adam. I see the difference; I know he sees the difference too. This isn’t meant to be a knock at other dads, we are fortunate to know a lot of really great ones out there. But different times call for different measures. Having a special needs child makes our lives different. I wish often that I could just give him all those extra’s or less stress in general. But it is just not the hand we were dealt. Damion needed more and because of this, I needed more too. And Adam, in his good sport fashion, gives it all to us without hesitation. I truly can’t imagine what we would do without him.