Monday, November 1, 2010

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Putting away the pride

Guest post by Stuart Duncan

As a father, nothing makes us prouder than our children... perhaps it's thousands of years of testosterone conditioning but there's not much more that a father can be more proud of than his son. We don't even need for our son to follow in our footsteps, just to do well. To make us proud to show him to the world and say "That's my boy!"

But unlike our ancestral primitives, we're a lot more cultured, civil and understanding... this means that we should be able to put aside our disappointments, especially those beyond our control. For example, Autism.
We should.

As you venture into the Autism community, however, you find story after story of men and their denial, their disappointment, their total lack of ability to look beyond the imperfection and see their child for the wonderful person they are.
It really truly saddens me and makes me ashamed to be a father myself. It's like being in a club where one person does something really bad and makes the other club members ashamed to admit they're in the same club.

We're in the age of space travel, cell phones, wireless connections all over the place and yet us men still walk around as if wearing a leopard skin and bashing our food over the head before eating it... and all because our child might not follow in our footsteps like we had dreamed of since finding that little plus sign on the pee stick.

You want to be macho? Then man up, and stand up... be proud of your child no matter what adversity presents him... or her. Teach them to be stronger than the disorder or illness that they've been unfairly given without their consent. Give them your strength to rise up and become the truly great person that you've know all along that they can be and to never ever give up in the face of adversity no matter what form it comes in.

That's what makes me proud. That's what makes me want to wear a club jacket!
Suck up that pride and do some dishes once in a while, move a load of laundry ahead, do a little baking and best of all, be there for your child. Show up to the school assemblies, show up to the baseball games... take them to gymnastics! Yes, this is a very girly paragraph but you know what? This is the stuff that will make your little imperfect boy into a truly great man.

Don't make your wife be the warrior alone. Don't leave your wife to fend for herself. Don't make your wife have to handle all the things that you can't.
All you do is prove that you're the one that is not perfect, not your child.
I am a father, my son has Autism. He is perfect because he is mine and there's nothing I won't do for him. Join me and other fathers like me, please.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just happened to catch this post tonight in search of the one that you wrote when guest posting for autismfather. This is a beautiful post and shhh-made me a little teary-eyed. What a wonderful father! And a true "macho" guy, of course. :)

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