Celebrating Michael’s Exceptional Father

 

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So this weekend is Father’s Day, and our family is blessed to have four wonderful fathers to celebrate with, Michael’s Dad, my Dad, my brother and my Father-In-Law. Although we mark the celebrations for all four on different days as it is easier logistically speaking,  it does not make that day any less special as we always call our fathers and my brother on that day to wish them. And each year I have the same thought: we are a lucky family to have such good nurturing men among us. I particularly see the strong bond that continues to grow between Michael and his Dad. It warms my heart the way Michael greets his Dad when he comes home, is eager to talk and share parts of his day with him, and will be heard saying often;

“I want Daddy to take me to the park. I want to go alone with Daddy.”

He even told me several days in advance about his craft for Daddy for Father’s Day and the card. He proudly told his father what he made him and how he can’t wait to give it to him on Sunday. It’s great that he is attaching more and more to Dad as time goes on. Little boys need a good strong male role model as they grow up. I am particularly happy as Dad and Michael seem to be developing their own language and ways of playing and interacting. It is separate from me, yet it is not as if I am excluded. It is just “boys stuff” and I love how this is bringing them closer. Michael and I have our Mommy and son time which is special too, and then we have our family time when it is special for all of us.

 

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What I find particularly beautiful is how Dad is learning to relate more and more to Michael’s autism, and help him find ways to navigate the rough patches as well as celebrate the victories. I will hear Dad reminding Michael to use his strategies, he remains calmer than me when Michael tests and shows Michael the port in the storm. He also makes that extra effort when he is tired to play with Michael, to be there for him, to show him love. And he encourages him with reading, writing and sports. He is proud of Michael and sees more and more Michael’s potential. It has been a long road for these two as accepting Michael’s diagnosis was not easy for Dad. He was not the one home to see all that I saw, so it was normal that he doubted things at first. Like many Dads, he needed his own time to reflect and come to terms. When he did, the bond between the two began to grow. Now, he is not only Michael’s Exceptional Father but my Exceptional Husband, a true partner in advocating for our Exceptional Little boy, and helping him grow into the wonderful little person he is.

Exceptional Parents, how are you celebrating Father’s Day this weekend? Will you be marking it with a big lunch or dinner or something simple? Will you do separate celebrations with the other Dads in the family? No matter what you choose, just remember how important a Dad’s duty is. Dads do a lot for their families in so many ways, and today’s Dads are amazing in how they support their partners, particularly Exceptional Dads, who need to be that much stronger for their Exceptional Families. So here’s a shout out and wishing all of you out there a Happy Father’s Day! Until next time.

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