I've been thinking about Special Needs Dads a lot lately. Couple weeks ago, had an experience with a very cool dude...wait that came out TOTALLY wrong...um I didn't mean came out...why don't I just move on?
So this guy, for the sake of argument let's call him, oh, Aaron or something, from Australia flew in to town to talk about Bennett and life as a Special Needs Dad as research for his doctorate dissertation in Social Anthropology. Technically he flew in from Arizona. But he flew in from Australia before that. And yes...his arms were tired.
The visit was anything but.
Wrapping my head around the whole event has been a struggle. Partially because I am exhausted today, but also because I don't know what I want to say about it. I struggle with an even more puzzling truth. Maybe I have very little to say about it at all.
Yes of course I will explain. It was simple. Complete. Like the perfect one-hour episode of a great cable dramatic comedy.
Subjects were brought up not thought of in a long time. I have changed regarding how I feel about this Life. I have changed how I feel about my son. It was deeply moving to hear about Aaron's experiences, those he was comfortable sharing, regarding his own son, his own life. In him it was easy to see a younger, and certainly much more attractive version of myself.
Make no mistake, he is in an earlier stage of his journey, and I recognized so many wrinkles in his face. So many lines in his eyes. When he looked to the horizon, those places he sought were similar to those I was seeking.
It's what we like to call kindred spirits.
It's not good how we got to be there, but good to know that in a pinch we'd have the others back.
It's how dudes are. See, when the Zombies start to take over, start to force us all to the Coasts and I have to swim for my life, and just in case SingleDad or Eric turns me away as I make it to the East Coast? Well it's nice to know I have a new buddy Down Under as a back-up. Shit...do you think I can make it?
Australia is pretty far...as long as there are no Zombie Sharks I should be fine.
His visit was great. I highly recommend it to anyone who would want to be a part of it. I actually did recommend it in one Facebook group I was in, but then realized...um, no one actually replies to me in this Facebook group. Maybe I am in the wrong Facebook group. So I got outta there!
Miss him already, and am really looking forward to seeing what he puts together. I should have taken a picture or something. All I did shoot was the shrubbery in front of his hotel. And the Quaker Steak & Lube across the street.
Being in this position (Stay at Home) and not getting out much, not knowing other Dads locally, it brought the point home with mucho poignancy that I don't get to hear other voices like his as much as I want to.
As much as I need to.
Until such time as that changes There is always this Internet. More on that another time, are you digging my attempts at brevity? Like a well-trimmed b-, eh I'm working on it. As for in the flesh companions, I was joking with another dude on Facebook and said the only friends I have are of the online variety. We had also met online (message board) when I worked for a toy company called ReSaurus. WAY before I was Special, WAY before I was a Dad.
Still had a shitload of Needs. I was always a needy bastard.
Aaron suggested I start a local support group. Thought I might be good at it. Nice thing to say. It's definitely food for thought.
Thanks Aaron, for everything. It was great meeting you. What your significant other said? Really inspired me to keep the torch going. But so did you.