My other son…
Happy Fathers day to all the dads out there! As well as all the other family members and friends who step up and take on the role. You all rock!
Whilst I share a large part of my fatherhood journey with you all, there is a side that I haven’t shared for a number of reasons, but I figured today was the day to do so!
This time 3 years ago I was not in a great place. Having recently lost a dear friend, calling off our travels and moving into a house in a small town I was struggling to adjust with the isolation after 18months of living on the road. My ex Carly (whom some of you long term followers may remember) messaged me after we’d had several months of not talking, she asked what I was up to on Fathers Day and offered to come up and visit us. Long story short *Bom chika wah wahh*, 9 months later this little dude was born!
It’s been anything but an easy ride for all of us, with us all often struggling to adjust. Being a present and engaged father has always been the most important thing to me, but I was suddenly forced to decide between giving Jaiden a life that he was thriving in and a life that I loved, and moving closer to Carly so that I could be a large part of Kalebs life. To her credit Carly encouraged me to stay living where we were and over the past 2 years we’ve both shared the 300km round trip so Kaleb had the opportunity to spend as much time with Jaiden and I as possible.
It’s been a very different experience for me; having a child on the spectrum often means that hitting ‘normal’ developmental milestones go out the window. Whilst I love him with all my heart, there were a number of years where parenting and caring for Jaiden was anything but sunshine and lollipops, even my mum who had raised 4 kids would often end up in tears saying “I just don’t know what to do!” when it came to dealing with Jaidens emotional and sensory needs. Whilst I have missed being present for nearly all of Kalebs “firsts”, it’s been great to feel that sense of normality with him hitting his milestones instead of the constant fear of “when and if” he’d hit them.
Kaleb is now 2 and has the most incredible personality; he often has us all in hysterics with his antics. He really is Mr Personality! Even doing something simple like sitting and playing cars with him is such a different experience to what it was like with Jaiden; so as hard as it’s been for me to accept my “weekend dad” role, it’s been an amazing experience and a blessing for both Jaiden and I. It took Jaiden 12 months to get totally comfortable with Kaleb, because he, well, hates babies! Slowly he’s adjusted and now has a great bond with his little bro, which warms my heart to see. As he’s gotten older he’s started to become upset when Jaiden and I leave, often trying to force his way into the car so he can come with us, to say my heart breaks each time is an understatement. Thankfully our decision to travel will mean that he will have the chance to spend more quality time with us and will also be able to share our excellent adventures.
So whilst today is fathers day, I have to say a big thanks to Carly for both her understanding and for putting in the effort to allow Jaiden, Kaleb and I to have the great relationship we do and making my fatherhood journey that extra little bit special. It’s not been an easy road for either of us, but I am forever appreciative. Thanks baby mumma. x