Today’s challenge was simply to say thank you. To thank someone who has played a part in our journey. One person that has been instrumental in our lives.
And so to mine:
Thank you for loving me when I least deserve it. For constantly pouring yourself into me even when it seems like the effort is falling on barren ground. Thank you for encouraging me. For supporting my every whim and fancy. There have been many and you’ve never said no, that I can’t or that I shouldn’t. You’ve only said yes. And only ever meant it.
Thank you for making me a mom, the one dream I had that has never changed. For the way you love those boys. Ways I’ve only ever been able to imagine. For the way you chase and toss and tease and laugh with them. They are becoming who you are because of what they see.
For the way you show them what it means to be a man who is honest and respected. For the business decisions you make that whisper your character in a world that only recognizes those that are shouting.
Thank you for teaching them and learning from them and always lavishing your love upon them. For showing them that men say “I love you” and “I’m sorry” and they cry at sappy movies and stand taller than they ever thought possible when the ones they love are attacked.
I know you had dreams, too. For the way your life would be. Their soccer coach and their side line supporter and biggest fan. You couldn’t have ever planned for this. Neither of us could have but you carry us through this. I mean it. You pick us up and you carry us forward when it would be all too easy to stay where we are.
The statistics are 80%. That’s the number of marriages that end in divorce when they have a child with autism. You know that number, not because you’ve read the reports or have feared the reality, but because you fight against that number every day. With everything you do, you fight to be the 20% and when I don’t feel like trying anymore, you fight even harder.
This life we live is lonely. It’s hard to maintain friendships and build relationships amongst the chaos. We’ve seen it. You felt it even more. You’ve watched friendships fade and be replaced and you’ve grieved for them but you’ve never once placed blame.
You are unapologetic about the way you love me, the way you love them. About the lengths we go to try to make this life more manageable, to make them comfortable, to make them happy. It means we stay home most weekends, it means we retreat to the place that is safest. It means going weeks and months without spending time with other adults and I tell you how sorry I am about that and you remind me that this is the place you want to be.
For being quiet in our often way too loud world. For being constant when it seems our whole lives hinge on the cycle. For dancing with me in the kitchen. For making them laugh with the way you kiss me. For spending your weekends gladly hearing about Pokemon cards and video games. For taking walks when you’d rather sit. For saying yes when it would be so much easier to say no. For all the times you’ve said no to others so you could say yes to us. For praying in front of them. For praying for them.
For all of the things you do and for all of the things that you are.