A Letter to my Dad

Emily Sutton by Emily Sutton Additional Needs

Emily Sutton

Emily Sutton

I was launched into the world of special needs on New Year's Eve 2012, on the birth of my son, Jenson. He is fabulous, sprightly and loving, and ha...

A Letter to my Dad

Dear Dad

I try to remember to tell you that I love you every day, but on Father’s Day, I didn’t just want to tell you, I wanted to tell the whole world.

I think I ditched ‘Daddy’ and started calling you Dad about two years’ ago; Mum says this is quite symbolic of how I’ve grown up quicker than most six-year-olds.

Being you is a hard job but you make it look easy. I know that you love me the same as you love my big brother, but you have to give him more of you. I know you wish this was different and I know you feel the daily pangs of guilt for wishing this so.

I understand that for every football match, tennis lesson and play date you take me to, you suffer the worry and pain of leaving my brother with mummy who has to find exciting things to do with him alone.

I’m sorry that sometimes I get frustrated about how my brother isn’t like other ten-year-olds.

I try not to care when other kids ask questions or say mean things. You have taught me to be strong, brave and proud. I know we are the lucky ones to have such an awesome dude in the family.

I see those looks of despair and upset that you and mum give each other, at the times when my brother is not agreeing with the world around him. I understand that sometimes we have to change our plans and cancel things I was really looking forward to, and I try not to show my sadness.

I try my best to be good at those times when you really need to focus on him, and keep him safe and happy.

Sometimes I get hurt by a flying toy or a scratchy finger, but I don’t mind, wounds heal.

Sometimes I don’t get heard, because there is a louder and more important noise for you to deal with, but that’s ok because I know you’ll sit with me later, when the house is quiet, and listen to everything I want to talk about.

Every meal-time I have to watch the same episodes of the same programmes because it’s what helps my brother focus on eating; this used to annoy me but now we join in and sing along, it’s fun!

I see the wonderful joy you give my bro at every opportunity, and how you’re always looking for new, fun ways to make him smile and laugh. I know Mum isn’t happy with all the trains, cars and buses you buy him, but I know you just want him to have the same fun as other kids.

You are constantly seeking and creating new ways of bringing the world to him in a way that makes him happy.

I know my life in this family is very different to my friends’ lives. Although I sometimes get a little bit sad about things, I would not change you, or my brother, for anything.

Every day you give me another piece of the puzzle that is helping me to build a picture of the world around me. And every day you give me another reason to love you even more. You are giving me all the ingredients to becoming a good person, and one day hopefully, I’ll be a wonderful dad, like you.

Love from Coby, age 6.

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