Two Fathers

Five am, Father’s Day 2013

I woke up to the sounds of rustling sheets and water running in the bathroom. Our son with autism, Alphonse, accidentally wet his bed again. I rubbed my still bleary eyes awake and saw that Alex and Alphonse were in the bathroom. Big Brother had washed and changed Alphonse into dry clothes. A♥ had stripped the bed of sodden sheets, stacking them up for laundry. With their well-coordinated teamwork, they had Alphonse snoring happily away shortly afterwards; I didn’t even have to do a single thing.

This is the kind of men I live with.

The kind that gets down to work without complaints.

The kind that rolls with the blows that get most people down and deals with them with fortitude and determination, from wet, soggy beds to full-scale tantrums from an almost full-grown teenager.

The kind that loves without conditions, without judgments.

They are the fathers in Alphonse’s life.

Alex and Papa copy

Today, Father’s Day, is meant for men like my husband, my dearest A♥, the one who bonds us all as a family. His patience, hard work, and dedication inspire me and his children to humility and service. His steadfast, constant love for his wife of 22 years grounds us in faith, even during the most difficult times of our lives.

But today is also for men like my eldest son, Alex, who has willingly taken on the responsibilities of being his brother’s keeper. These last few months, as he forged a new relationship with his brother, he has become, by his actions, Alphonse’s second father.

Happy Father’s Day, dear A♥ and Alex! I love you both forever and always.

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