When I was dating the man who would I would eventually marry, he told me that he wanted to have a girl to spoil like I never had. He wanted me to see what true love was. I believe that God does grant you the desires of your heart, so it was no surprise to me when I learned that I was pregnant with a girl. My husband kept his promise from the moment our special girl was born.
At times I was jealous of their bond. She did many firsts with him: first giggle, first word (DaDa) etc. Overtime, I grew to appreciate this special bond. It was like watching the childhood that I should have had.
When we first learned that our daughter possibly had a mental illness. He stuck by me. He vowed to keep being the kind of dad our special girl needed. It was hard work. It nearly broke him to see her in so much distress. Together we worked to get her the help that she needed.
Then once she was stable, we noticed that she had many characteristics similar to those of an autistic. This led to an eventual diagnosis of autism. It was another blow to my sports loving husband as he saw his dreams for her slip away. We both worked on new dreams for our daughter. The additional diagnosis of autism was just sinking in when we learned that our daughter had a brain tumor and needed emergency surgery.
Again, my husband, my Knight in shining armor, stepped up to the plate. He kept a vigil by her bedside those first few days. We were led to believe or led ourselves to believe that our daughter would be cured once the tumor was removed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
During this time, my husband had been reinventing himself. He accomplished his lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. Unfortunately, the only job he could find took him hours away from his precious daughter. So he began a quest to find a teaching position closer to home. It became clear very early on that in order to find a job closer to home, he'd have to move his family. A move that took us miles away from family and friends. A move that at first our daughter resented very much.
Shortly after our move, we noticed that the symptoms that led us to the diagnosis of the brain tumor, had returned. I put on my mama bear hat and went to work finding answers. We learned that the tumor had, thankfully, not returned, but its absence was sending mixed signals to our girl's right side. Her speech, swallowing, and movement we affected. While I set about getting our daughter the necessary treatment, my Knight set about providing for us. He was very much a part of any decisions that were made on her behalf. He never told our daughter that she couldn't do something or that she looked funny. These were phrases that I'd heard from my father. I am so glad that my daughter only hears encouraging phrases from her daddy.
Last week, our daughter underwent anesthesia for Botox injections that may or may not improve the dystonia and spasticity on her right side. Since it is summer vacation, my Knight, my daughter's daddy, was able to be present after she woke up. I know he'll continue to be her biggest cheerleader whatever curveballs life throws her way.
Any man can be a father. It takes someone very special to be able to be called Daddy