Before I begin, I am not the writer that my wife is. Her beautiful tapestry of words create canvases that lead others to understanding. My skills are more like creating snakes out of Play-Doh, but I hope that there are other dads out there that my words might encourage.
Helen has always been a Momma’s Girl. If you think that children get into observable patterns within the structure of their day, a child with Sensory Processing Disorder takes that to a whole different level.
Every night I ask Helen if she wants me to lay by her, and every night the response is, “Tomorrow Daddy.” I cherish the rare occasion when Jennifer is gone at bed time and I get to lay by my Helen. Sometimes I can trick her if I agree to let her watch a video on my phone, but once the video is over, Mom is back on deck.
When it comes to moments of injury (i.e. scrapes, cuts, etc) she goes to Jennifer 100% of the time….until last week.
It was a normal week night. Helen has a trundle bed in her room. Helen’s bed looks so cute with all the pink ruffles and stuffed animals but it hides the sinister purpose of unlocking the imagination of my two children and transporting them to a land where bouncing is the only mode of transportation.
As the bouncing commenced I heard a loud thud from down the hallway and the wailing began. Helen had fallen face first into the arm rest of her child-sized rocking chair. I walked quickly into the room where Jennifer had her wrapped in her arms and I offered to grab an ice pack. Helen declined the offer and I asked her, as I have hundreds of times, if I could hold her.
She said yes.
I was in shock. As she removed herself from Jennifer’s lap and curled up into mine, my eyes met with my wife’s and I drank in every last drop of the moment. Jennifer and I exchanged no words, but both of us silently acknowledged that this was special.
We have a long way to go, but we’ve come so far. Whether your have a child with special needs or not, don’t take for granted moments that should be long remembered.