Dads and Dudes with Angels
By Charles De Broin, from Montreal Quebec
Do we dads have it easy, you say.
That romantic night turns into a nine month wait for a little miracle of life.
Mom suddenly takes over and knows what to do, almost by instinct, or is it the eighteen girlfriends and her mom that make it all dizzily work.
No sleep, no more calm evenings to watch the game on t.v. but all this is so much fun.
They grow so fast and suddenly you realize something is wrong.
Mother panics, dad comforts her to no avail.
Doctors spin to find what it is that makes an otherwise healthy baby not progress as the growth curve indicates.
“Give it a while, children grow at varying rates”, the good doctor says.
Unsatisfied, mom turns to every avenue and is told that a genetic test might pinpoint the culprit that is making our baby so different than her sister Helen’s baby.
The test is done and Angelman Syndrome is defined as the source of our baby’s problem.
The questions begin… “Will he talk, will he walk, that dream of him being a lawyer is still alive isn’t it, will he be able to play baseball or soccer?????” Mom is more rational… “It doesn’t matter, I will love him no matter what, just make those damned seizure stop doctor, please!!!”.
The fear give way to advocacy, mom is a spoke-person for equal rights of the disabled in the school, the community and rattles parent teacher groups for change in a system cold and oblivious to the less fortunate. Dad starts a foundation for latter years and reluctantly accepts the defeat of not having the brightest and strongest boy on the block.
Before either of them know it their son is over 30 and both mom and dad realize that the dream of having a child in their lives forever, has come true.
He now lives in a group home, but visits regularly at home and yes, mom and dad have a tag team arrangement when their son still wakes up at 3:00 a.m. ready to start his day. They still visit the farm to see his favorite horse and in the summer visit their little country place where he can stare into a campfire and giggle as mom and dad sing campfire song like when he was a child.
And this summer’s holiday spent with mom and dad, both tired and sleep deprived after a few short nights. Both looking at each other and speaking of enjoying that unconditional love… that hug at bed-time that speaks so much of thanks and recognition.