Make Time to Make Memories

By David Iborra

Dave & Caleb

Caleb noseOften times, I try to do “special” things with my neurotypical son, because let’s face it; although we do plenty of stuff all together, it’s just a little “different” when his brother is around.

Often times, I find myself feeling a little guilty about this. Finding things to do 1:1 with my child on the spectrum is a bit difficult, while it’s quite easy for his brother. And, it does not hurt that he is a mini version of me. The ease of it I suppose is what makes me feel guilty.

Recently, I visited a friend of mine whom also is a part of the autism community here in Central Ma. While at their home, I had a chance to speak with their now teenage neurotypical child, whom I must say is more adult these days than child. I happened to be recounting the tale of my recent “daddy/son” trip with my youngest son, Caleb, who is not on the spectrum. It was a trip to Chicago to see his favorite soccer player in the world; Lionel Messi. We had a fantastical time even though we did not exactly get to see this particular player much for reasons that would take too long to explain, let’s just say that you should always be prepared for a nose bleed….

I was struck when after I finished, the teenager spoke up saying, “I think it’s nice and important that you do these types of things with him. Some of my best memories are when mom and dad used to do things with just me, without my brother. I remember them all.”
With Father’s Day just this week, and a “daddy/son” trip planned with just Brenden (child on the spectrum) to his favorite place in the world (Thomasland) I guess I found it reassuring, that perhaps, I am doing something right. And I should not feel guilty for making both my kids have special encounters with me, even though their brother is not there. I encourage all the fathers out there, to make sure to spend 1:1 time with all of your kids; it clearly makes lasting memories, on both sides…..