The Mighty Logo

What My Husband Means to Me as We Raise a Child With Sensory Processing Disorder

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Given the fact that my name is attached to our stories, I tend to get a lot of credit and praise for my daughter’s successes. It’s flattering and I try my best to acknowledge every kind word or comment that comes my way.

But it’s time I give credit where credit is way overdue because there’s one person who’s responsible for where we are today.

That person is my husband.

I’m secretly writing this as he sits on the opposite end of the couch, and I know he will kill me if he finds out he’s the topic of my latest piece!

Anyone who knows my husband knows he hates attention. In fact, to celebrate his 40th birthday, I had to arrange to do it months earlier on the weekend of my birthday, using an email address created for the sole purpose of planning an event where he would be celebrated. All this so he wouldn’t suspect a thing.

He is simple and wants for nothing. It’s one of his best qualities.

When I first approached my husband because I suspected our child was facing challenges, he didn’t question a single thing. I would be the one constantly questioning myself, and all he would say is, “I trust your judgment.”

From that point on, he has attended every meeting, appointment and evaluation he can. When we started our daughter in counseling, there was a mandated parent counseling group. I didn’t even have to ask him to participate. He was at every session and tried his best to implement every strategy we learned. He’s just as much the sensory parent as I am.

Over the years, I have watched him study our daughter so he could understand what she needs. He will bundle our girl up in the dead of winter to put her on the swing set or get down on all fours while trying to watch a Yankees game so she can press herself firmly on his back. He knows what she needs, not because I tell him, but because by being involved he has learned what she needs just as well as I have.

My husband’s support doesn’t end with our daughter. Some of the most important parts of our story are about the support he has given me. The strides we made with our school district wouldn’t have happened if I was left to fight on my own. I am a quitter. The minute I feel things get difficult, my instinct is to run for the hills. But, when the going got tough with our district, he didn’t let me quit even though I wanted to quit every single time. I couldn’t do it, but we could.

When administrators ignored my calls, my husband would call and they would respond instantly. He would ask me what I wanted him to say, and the second my words came out of his mouth, we got results.

He came to every meeting because he wanted the district to see we were a united front. But, most importantly to me, when I broke down crying and ready to run, he simply didn’t let me. When I ran out of steam, he pushed me to keep going. He believed I could and, each time, we succeeded together.

It took a long time for me to accept that life is hard, especially marriage and parenting. It all takes an extreme amount of work, but a wise man who shall remain nameless because he hates attention once told me that while all these things are hard, it’s how you get through them that counts. We packed a lot of things into the 10 years we’ve known one another, and we have come out better each time.

All because he never let me give up.

So while I may look like the Great and Powerful Oz, just like the movie, it’s all smoke and mirrors. My husband is the man behind the curtain. And a great one at that. There’s that saying that behind every great man stands a great woman, but in this house, those words aren’t true. Instead, behind this sensational girl and her amazing little sister stands a good-enough-and-trying-to-be-better mom with an even better husband and dad.

We aren’t perfect — far from it. We fight, we nag, we get on each other’s nerves — a lot. But we love this life we created, and we are a team. Without that, we would have never made it and neither would our daughter.

So if you are ever in my husband’s company, please don’t sing his praises or mention this piece I have shared with the world. And if you ever happen to be with him in a restaurant for his birthday, don’t dare tell the waiters to come over and sing! I suspect I am in enough trouble already.

Follow this journey on My Sensational Girl.

Lead photo source: Thinkstock Images

Originally published: August 9, 2016
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home