By Chris Biscuiti
For someone who is the proud father of a special needs child, the fact that I am lucky enough to say that I enjoy my professional job and mean it is a huge burden lifted off my shoulders every night. And yes, I consider being an active parent my second job that I love more than anything in the world.
My wife and I are now two and a half years into this whole parenting thing, and like most new parents, when our son was born we had no idea what was in store for us. Still, we were absolutely elated to welcome our boy into the world, and our embracing of him and acceptance of all of his special needs has not wavered once. Sure, we have our hands full and we are working around the clock to accommodate his condition, but we have learned so much during this time, from each other and from him as well.
While he cannot walk or talk just yet, my son has taught me to never give up, and to always have perspective. Although many kids his age are running circles around their parents and they are enduring the dreaded Terrible Twos, our boy is still learning to stand for longer than 2 or 3 minutes at a time (with a lot of assistance when he does stand). Just this week, he was being measured for some new adaptive equipment that he is going to need, including an adaptable stroller wheelchair. Even though we believe he is going to walk one day, we are preparing for the possibility that he will continue to need help for a couple of years or so to achieve that goal.
That being said, when our son eventually takes his first steps – whether he is 3, 4, 5 or even older – it will simply mean that much more to us, and it will feel like he just completed his first marathon.
Like my day job, we are blessed at home with an amazing support system. My wife and I have each other first and foremost, and we certainly couldn’t do this alone. We’ve heard stories of parents who may run away from the situation or live in denial, and I am happy to say that this has only made us stronger and more connected than we even were before.
From there, we have grandparents, family members, friends, teachers, therapists, doctors, swim instructors, and so many other people who are in his corner and have our backs. After all, every good work environment should foster a culture where people strive to be the best versions of themselves and at both of my jobs – at the office and at home – I am fortunate enough to be a part of a positive team atmosphere that encourages growth.
So yes, I work two jobs – one as a professional and one as the father of a special needs child.
And no, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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