Raising a child can be revealing to ones self. I was brought up in a middle class family where my father worked two jobs while my mother stayed home to raise her three boys. Life was easy with no real struggles to face . My parents paid for all 3 of our college educations so we were not burden with college loans . After graduation, I staked my claim in the family business and i was ready to tackle adulthood! Although I was 23 at the time backed with a college education and a good job , I was considerably immature. Without any real adversity, I remained that way until my early thirties. I had my first child ( Devin) one month before my 30th birthday. Devin was my first of 3 kids. Riley showed up 18 months later followed by my beautiful daughter Morgan at age 35. Each child brought more responsibility in my life . Balancing work , fatherhood and a good provider for my family became a challenge.
As If raising three children wasn’t hard already , my wife (Lisa) and I were dealing with Devins learning disabilities. Lisa, dealt with it much better than me. Her childhood was not as easy as mine and a monkey wrench here or there was not much to handle . Me, not so much.
Many short comings began to surface , suppressed by my struggle free life and immaturity. I became over zealous, controlling and self conscious of Devins disabilities. I became a “Nag” to Lisa. Constantly pressing her to do more to help with Devins struggles. I micro managed Devins every move , making sure he was included socially , received the proper education and made sure he got equal playing time on any sport team he participated with. I was self couscous of his lack of social skills and physical & mental development. I would be sure to tell everyone who met Devin for the first time, that he was “Learning disabled ” to avoid any misplaced judgement of my son . My anxiety was through the roof . This went on for years. I was searching for a little red pill that would cure Devin of all his troubles. However, the real trouble was with me . I spent Devins first 18 years teaching him life but simultaneously he was teaching me. My true character was being revealed. I realize that my short comings were not healthy to me and toxic to Lisa and the rest of my family. Over the years, I saw various therapist to better understand myself but it was Devin who truly settled me down . I constantly underestimated this kid and he would constantly prove me wrong. My problems out weighed Devins 10 fold. By the time Devin became a Senior in HS, I started to relax. I still face some internal struggles to this day when thinking about Devins life now and in the future. Devin is a Sophomore in college and is doing great . He has achieved “National Honor Society” and is thriving Socially. If I could only travel back in time and speak to my 30 year-old self. I would explain the following,
“everything is going to be find. Devin will mature both physically and mentally on his own time line . All you need to do is play the supporting roll as the father and everything will work out”
Some good did come out of those years. I certainly left no stone unturned and we discover some great programs available to Devin.
Any parent who reads this and at the early stage of a journey with there child, trust your self and trust your child. Don’t be afraid to seek support from others to help guide you mentally.
Like poker , you cant control the hand you are dealt but you can control your emotions with a good poker face