A little background first. My husband and I have been married 13 years. We have two children 7 and 3. Our 3-year-old son has autism and is nonverbal. Marriage hasn’t been easy for us and neither has been being parents. We both come from broken homes. So we’ve had to be our own examples of what we’ve wanted in both especially my husband whose father is not in our lives at this time.
I want to acknowledge you on this day. Fatherhood has been a challenge for you. It’s not been fair or easy for you. I know not having your dad present has made you feel inadequate as a father. I see your hurt and I wish you had a father who was in your life. It’s been hard for you to see you are a good dad because of his absence.
I want you to see what I see. I see a dad whose children absolutely adore him. Their faces light up when they hear the key turn. I’m nothing to them when you arrive home. I love how you play with them. To see you practice Karate with Zoe melts my heart. She loves it when you have tea parties with her. When Jaxon finally said “dada,” I know you were so happy. It took three years but he did it! He loves to wrestle with you and have tickle wars. They both get so sad when you go to work.
Thank you for being at every I.E.P meeting and Jaxon’s evaluations. Thank you for participating in his therapies and being present and active at his class events. I know neither of us envisioned being special needs parents. It’s not something we were even prepared for. But you’ve taken lemons and made lemonade. Some dads either walked away, blamed the mother or are in denial. I’m so grateful you didn’t do any of those. I’m glad you faced this challenge head-on. You acknowledge the challenges autism brings and show your son unconditional love and support. Jaxon will always know you are there for him.
I’m so grateful to you for participating at Zoe’s school. We are both at her parent/teacher conferences, and I’m glad for your input. It’s so cool for her to have an active dad. Most dads consider it the mother’s job but you don’t. I’m glad you volunteered this year at her school. I know you are looking forward to volunteering when time permits in the future. I think more dads should follow your example and make time to be active in their kids’ schools.
You are the father to your children your dad couldn’t be to you. I acknowledge the personal challenges you have faced. Thank you for always pushing through them. Be confident that you have paved your own path to fatherhood and it is enough. Thank you for being our family’s steadfast anchor. I’m grateful for all you do to make our lives better. Enjoy your day and give yourself credit for being a superhero dad to Zoe and Jaxon.
Me and Your kids!