My husband Glenn proposed to me at the bottom of the Grand Canyon while on a white-water rafting trip with his sisters. He was to afraid to bring the real ring fearing he would drop it in the Colorado river, so he proposed with a $5 ring and I had to hike out 9 miles up the Bright Angel Trail to get my real one! (The ring and Glenn were both worth the hike!)
When we were young and naïve, we knew we wanted children but didn't really have any idea of what lay ahead. I remember bringing our first son home from the hospital and saying:
"I got more instructions with our VCR than I did about how to care for this living breathing human!"
I put a sticker next to Glenn Jr's newborn picture that said "Instructions not included"
We managed to find our rhythm and were so thankful to add our son Daniel to our family 3 years later and Ben 3 years after that.
When Ben received his diagnosis of autism, we were shaken to our core. I will never compare it to the horrendous grief of losing a child but it was certainly the death of a dream for a child. We were filled with a scary unknown and plunged into a world that we had no idea how to navigate. I can't say enough about how Glenn was there every step of the way. The "for better or worse" part of our vows came into play and he stepped up to the plate.
One of Glenn greatest gifts is creative thinking. When we faced a challenge or hurdle and were not sure what to do next, he would come up with a plan that got us to the next part of the journey. He knows what motivates each of the boys and we use their "currency" to help them learn and grow.
Glenn even wrote a chapter in our book "Swinging From the Chandelier: Finding Joy in The Journey Through Autism" entitles "I Wonder If A Dad Can Fix It?"
One example of his creativity was when the boys would ask for an item like expensive designer sneakers. Glenn would tell them what we had budgeted for their shoes and they were welcome to make up the difference between that price point and what they thought they wanted.
If they wanted a specific toy and it was not a birthday or Christmas, he would say:
"You can buy it with your own money"
To which they would most always reply
"Never mind - I don't really need it"
This litmus test helped us see what they really cared about and helped them become more discerning about their choices.
So today Glenn on your birthday, I just want to say thank you for being there every step of the way, for your love, support and creativity and loving your boys fully.
I wouldn't want to do life with anyone else!
Love you more,