This weekend will be my 15th Father’s Day.
As the dad of a child with profound special needs, my day will be anything but that of a typical dad, or a typical Father’s Day.
My son is non-verbal and so for the fifteenth consecutive year, he won’t wish me Happy Father’s Day.
My son has limited motor skills so there will be no handmade Happy Father’s Day card for me.
No breakfast in bed.
No handmade gifts or presents.
No going anywhere special for the day as dad and son.
No awesome planned activities just for a dad and his son.
Truthfully, my son won’t even know that it is Father’s Day or what that even means.
But there are some things he will notice and that will resonate with him.
When he gets up, he will find that his dad is still there. Not just there, but involved and engaged with him.
He knows he will get plenty to eat, have clothes on his back, and his every need will be attended to and provided for by his dad.
He knows he can feel safe and secure, loved unconditionally and found perfect just the way he is by his dad.
I will be a better dad today because of him.
I will be a better man today because of him.
I will be a better follower of Christ today because of him.
And at the end of Father’s Day, as we do every day, we will go to his room where he has a giant platform swing.
For the next 45 minutes or however long he wants, I will push him in that swing.
I will sing songs over him the whole time. I will juxtapose blessings and prayers over him. Nothing will be allowed to interrupt our time together.
At some point when he is ready to stop, he will make eye contact with me. That’s pretty difficult for an autistic child. He will flash me this open mouthed grin, and throw his arms up to hug me.
As I hold him close on his unstable legs and twisted feet, he will hug me tight, tap on my shoulders, and kiss my cheek.
No we won’t do anything special or even typical for Father’s Day.
Then again, I am truly blessed though.
For me every day is Father’s Day.