|The young and the clueless|
DH and I met some 25 years ago and it wasn't exactly love at first sight. We both thought the other had some goofy traits -- I was concerned about silly things like whether or not his clothes matched (they didn't) and he thought I needed to grow up (I did). Obviously we did eventually reconcile these little problems.
So fast forward some seven years to Joe's birth. I know that DH and I were terrified. I would be hard pressed to say who was more so. We were both the youngest in our family and although we both had nieces, we really had very limited experience with kids in general and babies in particular.
We both have a vivid memory of leaving the hospital, getting out to the car with Joe and wondering how the heck did we get the car seat in the car?!?!?! I am positive that he was not properly restrained for that first short drive. Then there were diapers. I think I had changed a grand total of two diapers before Joe was born and I'm not sure DH had even changed that many.
Joe wasn't always an easy baby. He would make himself go rigid and thrash like there was no tomorrow. But like many with autism he was the world's cutest toddler. But he only had about 10 words until he was almost 3 when we started our own version of ABA so he was definitely a challenge!
DH was always fantastic about coming with me to doctor after doctor and school meeting after school meeting. I remember when we had home ABA with Joe and DH would make it to most of the team meetings. Our ABA coordinator told us she didn't even know what most of the dads looked like and here was DH sitting in and contributing in most of the meetings.
He would take Joe to the pool, the playground and even built a swing-set for him. (And 14 years later, that swing-set is still in use by the younger child.) But Dad and Joe are still pals and play tennis, chess and go for bike rides.
But I think what I like best about DH as a father is that he was never upset about the fact that Joe didn't play conventional sports. We tried both t-ball and soccer when he was younger and they were complete disasters. But it was never an issue. I know so many guys that want to live vicariously through their male off-spring and DH was never that way. He happily took Joe to gymnastics and later piano and bowling. He taught him how to play tennis and we both taught him to ride a bike (with DH doing more of the running than yours truly!)
He also liked just relaxing and being silly with Joe.
Although he had a little denial before Joe was diagnosed he probably had less than me with Alan. I was just convinced that lightning did NOT strike twice. Alan was such a different baby than Joe -- cuddly, amazing eye contact, lots more babbling -- that I did not think he could possibly have autism.
But once again, with DH's fantastic sense of humor and help, we got through all the sleepless nights, the poop smearing, the B-12 shots in Alan's butt while he slept, the bizarre climbing, the endless "Alan-proofing" of the basement, etc.
The poor guy even has allergies but when Joe wanted a cat, DH said sure.
And DH still has some of the ickier jobs with the boys. He usually ends up taking Alan to the sedation dentist because it takes two males (DH and the doc) along with three nurses to hold him down and give him the initial shot.
And through all this, he remains my best friend and the person most likely to make me laugh. Overall I couldn't ask for a better husband or Dad to my boyz!
Love you, babe!