Hero Worship

When I was a kid my sister used to tell me I was adopted. Now of course adoption is great, but as a young kid hearing this from your sibling was traumatic. She used to tell me this, and various other things which I won’t say here since we have resolved our differences, to upset me or scare me or just be a big sister. Basically she said stuff because she could. I used to say, “but I look just like Mommy and Daddy.” Oh well. My Dad likes to celebrate father’s day in a bit of an unusual way. He likes to take us, meaning my sister and me, shopping. Yep, he likes to be the “sugar daddy” and have fun spoiling us. We are good daughters and always comply. We always tell him we want him to have a really really good father’s day so we will let him get us extra stuff. We are joking, mostly, but it is such a nice sentiment that I think I make jokes so I don’t feel guilty about getting spoiled on the day the spoilee wants to be the spoiler.

My Dad has always been a huge supporter of mine. I am lucky that he always empowered me and never made me feel like I couldn’t do something because I was a girl.  It’s a big deal if you are a woman, to be valued by the men in your life. My Dad, while totally loves his grandsons, always makes a point of letting me know that I am not second to them. I appreciate that every time he says it.  Daddy’s little girl will never get old to me.

Earl wanted to be a Dad since the beginning. He loves kids and if it were up to him we would’ve had more and adopted a few (including a 17 year old Swedish girl). He loves the chaos of kids and the fun of them. He is a warm and caring Dad. He is very affectionate and open with the boys and tells them what he thinks and feels about important topics, like religion, politics, and money. Although some of these things seem very mature for them to process; they will know in their heart that their Dad was always straight with them. Earl is an extremely honest person and treats me with respect. Good lessons for our boys.

I have learned over the years that although there are many support avenues for Moms of special needs kids, the fathers have it rough. Men don’t usually share too much emotionally, yet it is important for these “special dads” to have an outlet too. They need to be able to talk to people about how it feels to have a boy who looks just like you but can’t throw a ball or talk or function as a typical child. There is an element of ego involved and it’s very difficult.

This is the point where I think my husband is a superstar. He has no ego where Bryan is concerned. He loves and adores this boy with absolute joy, no self consciousness, no judgment, no sense of loss. Of course he is human and processes his feelings in his own way; but materially, viscerally, he is one hundred percent on board for his son. I am grateful and in awe. Happy Father’s Day.

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