Today I realize I have been worrying endlessly for nothing. My biggest worry has been that I’ll be “alone” in raising a child with special needs. But I will never truly be alone. I have my husband, who will always walk by my side – God willing. He is the best daddy in the world. He wrestles with Cody, letting him tackle and jump on him, even when his back is sore. He will forgo watching a football game because Cody wants to watch Caillou. He’ll sit and color with him for an hour all the while teaching him about colors and letters. He’ll “race” with Cody “one more time” over and over and over again.
When Chuck and I first met I knew instantly that we were meant to be together forever. In fact, the next day I told my mom that he was the man I was going to marry. Every day I thank God that our mutual friends (his best friend is married to my ex-boss!) had the foresight to see that and introduce us to each other. Two years prior to our first date, my dear friend passed away after a short battle with cancer. She left behind two little girls (Mijah, who turns 18 next week (!), and Amanda, 16). I promised to her that I would always be in their lives. That I would always be there for them. Chuck didn’t bat an eye when I asked if they could spend a weekend with us. He didn’t grumble when we’d take them to the drive in and instead of seeing the latest Bourne movie or Mission Impossible we’d have to watch Princess Diaries or Herbie Fully Loaded (back when Lindsay Lohan was just a cute freckle faced little girl!). He invited them on our first ‘family’ camping trip. He never complained when we spent more on them for Christmas or birthdays then we did on each other. He was happy to help us make cookies or carve pumpkins or dye Easter eggs. I watched him interact with them and knew he’d make a wonderful father (I was right!). He embraced them as his own ‘nieces’ and loves them both dearly to this day.
When I recently voiced my concerns over one of the many “what if’s” – what if I didn’t bond right away with Eli? – he told me that he already felt that he’ll bond with him instantly. Those words put my heart at ease. After the initial shock of the diagnosis (he was reeling for that first week), Chuck has been my rock. One day, he pulled himself out of his funk, and decided to embrace our baby for every unique quality that he’ll have. He is always offering me words of comfort or support. He always tells me it’ll be ok. Today, I finally believe him. I know Chuck will be Eli’s biggest supporter and encourager. He has the patience of a saint (he married me after all!) and all the other qualities I feel I might lack (patience is something I am definitely working on!). We balance each other. We make the perfect team. I am no longer afraid. With Chuck by my side I feel like I have super powers. We can do this. We can do anything.