This week’s Minion Monday is a guest post from Zach’s Dad.
I have been asking Zach’s dad forever to write a post for me there are two reasons he finally did, first, this week I have been really sick and second because I finally convinced him his insight into Zach life is just as important as mine, even though it is very different. When Zach was little he worked a lot, like 14 hour days. He was the sole support for 4 kids and even though he was working from home he rarely had time to interact with the kids. So it wasn’t until we moved back to the Dallas about a year and a half after Zach was born and Zach went through his 1st regression that he was able to see all the things I had seen since the beginning.
While Ira has often doubted himself he has always been a good dad. Anyway, here is what he had to say!
Oh and thank you Ira, I love you to the moon and back even if sometimes I am too tired and stressed to show it.
I won’t give you my life story, or Zach’s. My name is Ira, and I am Zach’s father, and Dawn’s husband. I am also a computer programmer and other things. Zach is the youngest of our sons. Being the youngest child is different. I know because I am the youngest of three. As the parent, you feel confident with your youngest. You know what you are doing. You know how to get to the hospital, how to feed, how to change a diaper. You already have all the clothes, furniture, procedures, etc. This time, nothing can go wrong. This time, you won’t make any mistakes.
And we didn’t. We did everything the way you are supposed to, and as baby Zach became toddler Zach, everything was fine. But then, something happened. One thing to know about me is that my one pet peeve is that I don’t like being ignored. So when Zach seemed to retreat into his own world and didn’t talk or pay attention or anything my instinct was to think it was just me. But it wasn’t. It took my own parents observations to me (and that is saying something since I’m rarely on good terms with them) to get me to realize that it wasn’t me and that there was really something going on.
At first we thought it was his hearing, so we took him to get hearing tests, then more advanced hearing tests. Then it was suggested that maybe it was autism. I remember sitting in Dallas Children’s hospital in Dallas hearing this and thinking to myself, “uh-oh”. I didn’t know what to do. I had this image of a person sitting in an empty room with a helmet on banging his head against a wall and got very, very scared. I didn’t want that for my baby. For my son.
But you know what? Things have worked out. Through a lot of hard work by Dawn and by Zach (and a very little by me) I have a son. An amazing son who reminds me a lot of me. He does his thing and that’s that. Potty training was a long process, and he still doesn’t talk well. But most of the time he can get his point across. He doesn’t like the rain, but I understand that because where we live doesn’t rain that often and “different” is not his thing. He doesn’t like holidays much either, but he’s learned.
Learned. That’s the thing. He is learning. That’s the thing that will keep him out of that padded room. That will keep ME out of that padded room. He learns. Maybe he doesn’t learn like I did, or like his brothers, or like Dawn (who can seemingly learn things at will), but he does. He also loves and cares. He knows when Mommy is not feeling well and when Daddy is limping or even when the cats aren’t happy. He lives in this world with us and that’s all I’ve ever wanted since that day that I was told “autism”.
It goes without saying that I love him. I love all of my children equally. I get to hug him for longer, since the older ones don’t like it so much anymore. But I don’t worry about him as much as Dawn does. I know he will make it through life with that smile, with his enthusiasm, with his incredible intelligence and talent, artistic ability. Because he has parents who love him, and brothers who love him, and grandparents who love him.
I hope you enjoyed this feel free to comment and tell Ira what you think! (but keep it nice I have to live with him 😉 )