His Perspective

It started with a bit of fuzz on her nether region. Which soon became totally full. As for any parent, it’s strange to see your child grow up in these ways. As a parent of a child with special needs, it’s even more strange. You have this daughter, whose body thinks she’s 12, but whose mind thinks she’s a toddler. When they don’t match, it’s very strange. How can one still be wearing a pull-up and have hair down there? But it happens.

Last fall, I noticed that the half-camis weren’t doing their job anymore. It was time for a…*gulp*…bra. We headed out to get fitted and measured and try them on. Too big for camis, too small for real bras, but luckily we found some that worked. It is beyond weird to go bra shopping with your daughter in a stroller. But we did it.

When this happened, Matt threw his hands up and said “I’m out!”. He sort of freaked out when he saw the clasps on the back. These weren’t just pull-them-over-her-head type bras, these were real. He was having a hard time with it. I was too but all of a sudden it hit me how very strange and weird and uncomfortable this must be for him. I spend most of my time keeping myself in the right headspace and Matt’s always there to help me. But now I needed to be there for him. To think of how difficult this must be for him. Normally by age 12, fathers don’t ever see their daughters naked. Ever. Definitely not when hair and bras enter the picture. But for us, it’s a necessity. I can’t always give her a bath or change her clothes or get her dressed. Sometimes he HAS to do it. It’s not lost on me how difficult it must be for him.

It’s so easy for me, since we have a daughter with special needs, to always think about the things that I’m missing out on as a mother to a girl. Most of the time Matt is pretty unaffected by these things. Very little fazes him and for that, and a million other things, I am very thankful. We often talk about how he would feel if our only boy had special needs and he agrees that it would be harder on him. But this is one of those areas that’s much more difficult for him. Bath time, bathroom time, clothes changing time have all entered a whole new dimension that we’re getting used to. It’s another reminder of how lucky I am to have this awesome partner in life who, after the initial “NO WAY JOSE!”, jumps in and goes along.

Matt Liv 1 bw

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17 responses to “His Perspective

  1. Beautiful picture. I hope it’s in a frame. I’m not ready for all of that with my typical son…I can’t even imagine.

    • Tiffany Townsend

      It’s not easy! And the pic’s not in a frame yet…but it will be! πŸ™‚ Have a great day!!Tiffanywww.elastamom.com

  2. You guys are a very inspiring couple. Great photo, too

  3. I agree! Very inspiring couple. You are both so lucky to have each other!

  4. That must be incredibly daunting for him. Wow.

  5. There are so many aspects of special needs that we just take for granted, until they actually happen. You two are a good team, and your kids are all the more fortunate because of it.

  6. I-yi-yi. My boys help me so much with J., bathing, changing and all. I don’t know what I’m a-gonna do. A SN mom-friend of mine who has been thru this used to say, in a vampire voice, “Give me high school girls! I need high school girls!” (to be PCA’s).
    J.’s going to have orthopedic surgery on May 24, with her legs in casts with a broomstick between for 3 weeks b/f they take off one of those casts and we lose the broomstick. Feeling a little more vulnerable than usual!

    • Tiffany Townsend

      I know…it’s difficult! But Gabe still helps, no questions asked. πŸ™‚ Have a great day!!Tiffanywww.elastamom.com

  7. You can see that she’ll always be Daddy’s little girl, no matter how big her body insists on getting.

  8. great photo!! she really is such a beauty, and the daddy-daughter love really shines through.

    wow, i had never considered this aspect of things – this is definitely a challenge and a new wrinkle for both of you, but definitely for matt (and maybe her brothers too as they continue to help). i’m sure as time goes on it will become more “normal,” but i can understand how hard it must be right now.

    • Tiffany Townsend

      Thanks, Mo! I love that picture too. She really is Daddy’s little girl. Have a great day!!Tiffanywww.elastamom.com

  9. I’ve read this post several times. It makes me tear up every time. We are in the same spot with Gracie. Thanks for helping me to better understand Hank’s perspective on this. Before you wrote this, I hadn’t given it much thought. He just goes with the flow and does what needs to be done and never complains. I needed to read this!

  10. Beautiful photograph it is truly worth more than a thousand words, I’d say it would look amazing on a canvas.

    I can only imagine how he must feel, I know one day I will be going through something similar when Sophie reaches that point. But as you I am extremely grateful I will have someone to help me along the way.

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