Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Big Change

A few weeks ago, I came downstairs wearing a suit and tie. Kai smiled and asked why I was all dressed up.

We explained to him that I was going downtown for a job interview.

He said he wanted to take a picture with me, and then he and my wife wished me luck.

They must have sent some good fortune my way. I did well in my interviews and received an offer.

This morning, I start my new job.

For as long as I have been a father, I have been working from home. It has allowed me to spend more time with my son than most fathers are able to. And for a boy like Kai who needed so much special attention, it worked out well that I was able to do that.

Way back when Kai was getting ABA at home, I was there to meet his therapists and to see them in action. I learned a lot during that time. And once he started school, I was there when he came home from every day, and spent a lot of time with him.

But all that changes today.

I will be commuting by train every day. I will be out the door shortly after Kai wakes up in the morning and won’t get home until dinnertime at the earliest.

Going back to working in an office and commuting will be a big change for me. But I am confident that I will adjust and get comfortable.

The bigger adjustment will be for the rest of the family.

Kai is a boy who does not handle change very well.

When we told him that once I start my new job, I will not be home when he gets home from school, he asked how long that will be for. When we told him that it would be like that from now on, he said, “That’s no good!”

But in the days since, he seems to have accepted the idea. Last night, he told my wife, “Mom, it’s going to be a hard life without Dad.”

Hey, I’m not dying!

I have a feeling that the biggest adjustment may be with my wife.

I won’t be there to help her get Kai to take all his medicines and be ready to leave for school in the morning. I won’t be there to spend time with him in the afternoon when she is trying to prepare dinner. I won’t be there to tag in when things get stressful.

At one time, it would have been much harder for me to leave them alone. It is a testament to Kai’s progress, and to my wife’s growth as a special needs parent that I feel confident that they will be okay without me around as much.

I will miss not being there to see Kai when he gets home. I will miss not hearing him talk about what is on his fantastic mind. I will miss not getting to check in once in awhile to witness his progress in his swim lessons, or to hear from his speech therapist about the latest conversation they had.

The hardest adjustment for me will not be the commute or getting to know my new co-workers, it will be having to get used to not having as much involvement in my son’s daily life.

You know, come to think of it, maybe this transition will be toughest on me after all.


  1. Good for you. It is a necessary change...and I think, one in which your family will grow to meet the challenge. You look good in that suit!

    1. Thanks, Shiroi. We are hoping that this will be the prompt we all need to help Kai become more independent, and less reliant on us.

  2. Congrats on the new job and good luck with the big change in your family routine!

    P.S I'm a faithful reader, but I never commented before because of the language barrier, but I want you to know that I really enjoy your writing plus I appreciate the chance to learn about special needs world from a dad's perspective, not to mention that Kai is a cute boy and I love to see photos of him and to read about his adventures. Thank you

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment, and for the kind thoughts and well wishes! I really appreciate it! You did very well overcoming the language barrier, so I hope you will comment again.

  3. Yuji-
    Change can be SO hard, but it sounds like your family is ready for it! Good luck on your new job and blessings to your family!

  4. many many many hugs
    Its very very tough but it also has its benefits
    like I really find I value my time with R a LOT More since I am away from him so much
    This one made me LOL
    "But in the days since, he seems to have accepted the idea. Last night, he told my wife, “Mom, it’s going to be a hard life without Dad.”

    Hey, I’m not dying!"

    1. K, it's good to get your perspective as I know you can relate. I know that I, too, will value the time I do have with my son even more.


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