I had a good chuckle when I came across this blog post today. Called, “20 Reasons Moms of Kids with Special Needs Rock,” it has such gems as “Because we have bad days and breakdowns and bawl-fests, and then we pick ourselves up and keep right on going,” and “Because we never stop pushing for our kids.”
Lists like these are fun to read because while they do give some insights, they mostly include items that we can relate to—items that most parents of “typical” kids have often no clue about. But it struck me that dads need the occasional shout-out as well. After all, they have their part to play as well. At least they should be playing their part! So without too much tought, all in good fun, and in no particular order, I would like to propose to you . . .
20 Reasons Why Dads of Kids with Special Needs Rock
1. Because we are sticking with it, day in and day out, when many dads give up or skip out. No wimps here!
2. Because we listen to our wives’ worries, fears, and frustrations patiently without trying to “fix” everything.
3. Because we take on our share of the load in everything, including the laundry and the diapers and the dishes.
4. Because we fight for our kids at every IEP meeting, never backing down or giving in.
5. Because many of us work 40-plus hours a week and don’t bat an eye when we come home to absolute chaos. We just dive right in and get to work.
6. Because we guard date night jealously, even zealously.
7. Because we have memorized the alphabet soup of our kids’ diagnoses—and we understand what they mean
8. Because we know that marriage is not about gourmet meals, nightly sex, and an immaculate house.
9. Because we have no problem staring down the gawkers at the mall and in the park.
10. Because we know what “fun” means to our kids, and we aren’t too proud to share it with them. Even if it means wearing silly hats or rolling around on the floor.
11. Because we know how to “gently” restrain a flailing, screaming, melting-down child.
12. Because we don’t complain when the money earmarked for our favorite hobby has to go to insurance or a new therapist instead.
13. Because we don’t care if the other “dudes” our age seem to be having more fun.
14. Because we never say, “That’s her problem, not mine.”
15. Because we have learned how to suck it up and not gripe and complain. Especially not to our wives. Most of the time.
16. Because we can spot the difference between a spoiled-brat tantrum and a genuine melt down at twenty paces. And we know how to respond accordingly.
17. Because we don’t mind when our wives fall asleep on the sofa at 8:30 in the evening.
18. Because special-ed teachers tremble when we enter the room.
19. Because we have learned how to see goodness, beauty, and progress in every tough situation.
20. Because we never, ever, ever give up.