So, Henry's dad is a real find. The day we met he was handsome and kind and smart as a whip. Moments into our first conversation, I ended up blustering something about justice and winning an argument. Not much has changed.
The year Henry was born was a hard one. You might guess that a child that screams for the better part of 12 months would be hard on a marriage. You’d be right. It’s actually a little bit like being tortured. And when you’re tortured, you can be convinced to do horrible things to people you love. Like forget how handsome, kind, and smart they are. And you bluster something about justice and win an argument because “I don’t DESERVE this!”
I’ve learned a little bit since that year. First of all, discussions of justice are best left to grad school and the U.N. Secondly, the screaming can get better. Henry’s occupational therapy helped tremendously toward a more peaceful life for all of us. Lastly, I’m pretty sure that the way you treat the people in your home might just be the most important thing you do in this life.
No one would be surprised to hear that a toddler with SPD has tired parents who don’t have a lot of carefree weekends in Tahiti. But here’s the super special secret about being married to someone who raises a kid who has never said his own name or eaten a meal the size of which would be appropriate for a small rodent; He GETS it.
People who love the same things often have an instant connection and understanding. Henry’s dad knows me perfectly because we love the same difficult, beautiful, complex, and screaming little boy. So we keep trying. To know and be known. To love and be loved. Everything else is just blustering.
[This post was originally written for SPD Foundation blog]