There’s a little tune that Nanny Jen sings to Sol when he does something really well: “Solly is so great! Solly is so awesome!”
It’s simple, but effective: Solly gets excited when she sings it, and then her song gets stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
Today, though, we’re reworking that tune for someone else in our family: Mike, aka Dada. The truth is, as it is in many special needs families, Mike doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Most of the time readers hear about Solly, who works his tail off at everything he does, or about me since I’m the one who takes him to his doctors appointments, equipment fittings, and therapies, and deals with all the daily emotions of those appointments. But, in the background, there’s Mike (known to Solly and Bea as Dada), who, since the day he became the sole breadwinner of the household, has been working his tail off at the office, where his career has taken off, earning him a major promotion in the last year, all to make sure he takes care of his family.
But, his job isn’t why he’s so awesome. Here are just a handful of reasons why we love Dada and are celebrating him today on Father’s Day:
He’s the giggle factory.
Seriously. If you’re having a down day and you need a laugh, Dada is the one to make it happen. He’s known to make Solly and Bea laugh until they are red in the face and their bellies are vibrating with hiccups. It doesn’t matter where we are, he will do anything to make them (or me) laugh, and that has saved us from many a meltdown.
He’s the sensitive one. (And maybe the sensible one, too.)
It’s true. After getting over the initial onslaught of emotions after Solly’s diagnosis, I’ve been all business when it comes to my kids. It’s how I get things done. Not Mike. He’s been known to shed a tear or two when my babies aren’t feeling well or even when he’s just snuggling with them. There’s nothing better than a Dada who loves his babies *that* much.
On the flip side, when I get too worked up over what a doctor or therapist may (or may not) have said about Solly, he’s the one to let me know that I’m going a bit too far and I need to take it down a notch.
He’s my sounding board.
It’s no secret that I spend every second of the day researching all the things for Solly. I’d probably act on them all right away, too, if I didn’t have Mike to reel me back in. Any time I come across something new and am really excited about it or if I am uncertain about a doctor’s recommendation – really, any time my Mama gut begins to question something – I bring it up to Mike when he’s done with work and after the kids have gone to bed. He helps me work through those uncertainties and helps me confidently make decisions for Solly’s future. These discussions help us stay on the same page – and that is so important when parenting any child, but especially a special needs child.
He fixes all the things.
Whenever a piece falls off of Solly’s stander, or when we need to add something to the kids’ playroom (like hang a swing from the ceiling), or when I can’t figure out how to splice together videos of Solly to send to a specialist, Mike is there to save the day. I couldn’t get all 9,639 things I need to do each day done without him.
He’s the glue that holds us all together.
Without a doubt, we’d fall apart without Dada. Sure, he’s far from perfect (aren’t we all?), but he makes every day a little bit better, a little bit easier, and a little bit more fun. We sure do love him.
Happy Father’s Day, Dada! You are so great, you are so awesome, and we love you lots!