Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

I tossed around a lot of different topics for today, but I just couldn't stop thinking about how sadly inappropriate it is that on Mother's Day, a day that means probably a little more to families who live their lives with children with disabilities, families whose mothers work harder and with a larger bittersweet lump in their stomach than any typical mom, you get a father writing today.

Well, I don't have anything pithy to contribute concerning mothers of kids with disabilities. There's nothing I can say that's going to make your jobs any easier, and for those readers who don't live in the world of broken children, there's nothing I can share that will let you see just how hard these mothers work, or how ephemeral their victories can be.

What I do want to express here, with brevity but also with heartfelt sincerity, is how very grateful I and the rest of the fathers in this grand rough world of disability are for the work that you do. It probably wasn't much easier today, and it will no doubt be just as hard tomorrow. But you also know the rewards, both large and small, that await you for the work you do and the lives you live. No one can ever diminish that, nor take it away from you. And that's no small thing.

Robert Rummel-Hudson is the father ten-year-old Schuyler and the author of Schuyler's Monster: A Father's Journey with His Wordless Daughter (St. Martin's Press, 2008).  He is also a contributing essayist for My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids with Disabilities (PM Press, 2009). His work has appeared in Good Housekeeping and Wondertime.  Robert's adventures with Schuyler can also be found at his blog, Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords.