This is a normal morning for one dad and his boy.
Today I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at a social service agency’s annual breakfast in honor of direct service providers for the elderly and children and adults with disabilities.
It is possible to do something for others while doing something for yourself. In fact, I would argue that the most effective folks in positions to support others should be doing this work, at least partially, for selfish reasons. The pride and quality that goes along with a proper combination of selfless and selfish motivations is frankly preferable to people who truly believe they are doing this work “for those poor disabled folks.”
I believe that when you can admit you are doing this kind of work at least partially for yourself, you are acknowledging that your client is offering you something of essential value in the relationship; That they are a whole person and a peer in the relationship. That it isn’t a one-way street.
Sort of like all friendships should be.
If you are interested, ask me about my Breaking Bad analogy.
And thanks again to all of the direct service providers who have helped, and continue to help, my family.
Today, the Parents.com blog To The Max reprinted an essay from my book called Helicopter Parent. It isn’t what you may think it is about.
It’s really about helicopters. Okay, and children (and fathers) too.
“I made a phone call to the press relations contact at the Sikorsky company and asked if there was someone who could help me get some special materials for my son’s project. I told the press person about Alexander, his love of helicopters, a bit about his challenges, and what we were trying to do.
Less than a day later, I received an e-mail from Elena Sikorsky, wife of Sergei Sikorsky, Igor’s son (Igor died in 1972). She let me know that Sergei would send Alexander a package with helicopter-related stuff. Soon, we received a package with a selection of trinkets and keepsakes from Sergei’s attendance at an airshow in Europe as well as a copy of Sergei’s biography about his father. The book was autographed for Alexander and had a hand drawing of a helicopter in the inscription.
Alexander and his mother and I worked with him using large letters and pictures in a three-ring binder to remember some sentences for his presentation. We practiced getting dressed in the Igor Sikorsky suit and hat. And drawing on a mustache. All very challenging things due to sensory issues. But we practiced and had a lot of fun and he really liked it.”
Happy Father’s Day!
Review of the book on Huffington Post (UK Edition).
Thanks to Jo Worgan for a thoughtful review.
As of today, I have “two, two, two!” pieces I wrote on the front page of the main United States Easter Seals web page.
The first is a piece I wrote called 12 steps to find a good caregiver. The second piece is called 6 gift ideas for dads with kids who have disabilities. The second piece is NOT what you think it is. You should read it.