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To All the Dads Who Love a Child With a Disability

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This might be one of those cheesy posts my husband despises. Actually, I recently went up onstage at an improv comedy show and they asked me to describe my husband so they could act him out. I told them he was cynical, yet loving.

He is so much more than that. And he will never let on to how much he actually does for our kids, especially for our little Harrison.

But I have been secretly photographing him with Harrison for the past few months when he doesn’t know it, and the photographs, though not professional, tell a beautiful story.

It’s not always easy raising a child with a disability, but Vincent, my amazing husband, embraces each moment of it and shows our little Harrison lots of patience and love.

Since my husband doesn’t like cheesy posts, this is dedicated to all other dads like him. Because it’s these little things you dads do that make your kid ask for “Dadddyyy!”

I see you stop whatever you are doing to read a book to your kid. Your kid carefully picked the book out or he picked out a book that had a pig on it or he randomly grabbed whatever was on the ground. You read it to him because any of those reasons are huge for him. The fact that he leaned down, picked up a book, and walked over to you is a milestone in itself that has taken years to accomplish.

I see you take your kid outside to go for a walk. He signed “outside” and “walk” together, so, to keep encouraging his stringing of signs, you quickly put on his socks and shoes and take him outside for a walk.

And when he gets tired, you carry him.


I see you take care of him when he is sick. You’re the first to jump up when you hear him at night (well, most of the time). Even if he is just stirring in his sleep, you fill up his water cup and take him his water. You call your wife several times throughout the day to check to see how he is doing.

When the sickness becomes serious, you’re the one who takes him to the ER. Multiple times. You’re the one who insists on staying with him for when those inevitable ER visits turn into hospital stays.

You take him to the studies I can’t emotionally handle. A.K.A. The “Dreaded Sleep Study.” (All kids with Down syndrome need to have this study done before age 4 since they have an increased chance of sleep apnea.) I’m still in awe of how you survived that.

I see you share your snacks. And I see you hold the water cup while also encouraging and teaching your son to hold it on his own.

I see you get sad. As a father of a kid with a disability, I see you realize you can’t fix everything. The frustration that comes with another illness that you know will take your son two times longer to get over, or the heartache that comes with yet another medical diagnosis is wearing.

Yet, you continue to lift your son up. When the world looks down upon him because of his disability, you lift him above so he can see things from a different perspective. To see that God loves him. To see that he is fearfully and wonderfully made, and how we should all stand back in awe of God’s goodness.

So, thank you, Dads of kids with disabilities. We notice all the little things you do. We see you and we thank you.

Follow this journey at Down By the Marsh

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Originally published: July 12, 2017
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