As a mother, I assumed I would be baking cookies, teaching my children to read, snuggling in front of a movie, and kissing wounded knees. Never having been a father, I'm not quite certain what the expectations going into it are but I figure throwing a football, watching a son play sports, and bonding over similar masculine interests top the list.
Zak's version of fatherhood looks very different. He may never experience any of the typical father/son moments. Instead of cheering a son as he runs the bases during a game, he lays on him to calm him down and ignores stares as he deals with a meltdown at the pool. He loves a son unconditionally who may never move out of our home, let alone play on a team.
I have talked to many mothers who feel frustrated because their husbands will not accept a diagnosis. It's difficult for them to admit that their son might be different. Worse, some refuse to allow their child therapy, all because of pride. But Zak takes it in stride. We work together through the difficult moments and applaud the triumphs. I have even heard him repeat my sentiments about autism-it is a blessing in many ways.
A couple of months ago, I listened to Zak on the phone with his cousin who was dating a mother of a child with autism. He asked Zak if he would go into this willingly, knowing what he knows now. This life of meltdowns and unpredictability. Without hesitation, my good and wonderful husband said, "I wouldn't change a thing."
My children are so very lucky. And so am I.
Happy Father's Day, Binx.