To the Special Needs Dad on Father’s Day

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For the dads whose days aren’t spent running to sports practice, but instead to physical therapy sessions.

For the dads who spend their spare time researching their child’s condition.

For the dads who know the best fishing spots are the ones that are wheelchair accessible.

For the dads who have sacrificed professional aspirations because they’re needed at home more than the office.

For the dads who spend their children’s school breaks with them in the hospital rather than on vacation.

For the dads whose introduction to parenthood was spent in the NICU, learning to hold their baby around IV’s, oxygen, and feeding tubes.

For the dads who learn to hide their fear and put on a brave face for their scared child.

For the dads who are their child’s voice, their mobility, their advocate, and do it joyfully.

Being a special needs father isn’t for the faint of heart. Others may focus on all the things they feel your child is missing out on. While friends and family may pity what your child cannot do, you have learned the ultimate lesson in parenting: there is no achievement to make your child worthy. Their worth cannot be based off abilities or accomplishments.

Raising kind humans who know they are loved and valued exactly for who they are is what matters most.

Cheers to the dads who have embraced this journey. This Father’s Day, we celebrate you. The ones with a little something extra.