Pervasive Parenting


By Kodey Toney


Every Father’s Day I reflect a little bit on what it’s like to be father, and talk a little about what it that means to me. I like to talk about my past influences, my dad, my grandpas, and all the father figures I’ve had in my life.


This Father’s Day is no different. What I have figured out though, and that amazes me, is how often people tell me, “Well you’re a great father. I don’t know how you do what you do.”


This is something that the moms of kids with disabilities hear a lot as well. We are told this constantly.


“I don’t know how you do it. You are a blessing.”


This is something that I’ve brought up in the past, but I think it is something to go back on and reflect a little bit.


I usually just tell people, when they ask how I do it, “I just do it!”


I think if you ask any parent, with a child with a disability or not, they would say the same thing. Single parents, parents with six-plus kids, any parent. They just do it. They don’t have any other choice. Sure there are things that are a little more taxing when you have a child with a disability, but it’s really not that much different. You just pull from somewhere deep inside, and find ways to fix the problem. You soldier on.


Sure, I fail sometimes. Sure, I have to psych myself up some days, but I don’t know any different. I just know that I was taught to be a parent. I know there are a lot of dads, and moms for that matter, out there that gave up their children. I really don’t understand how you do that, but I know that it’s not the way I was taught. So, I just do it.


I want to say that I wouldn’t have it any other way. One of the most important things, if not the most important thing that I do in my life, is being a parent. It has me going in 100 different directions that I never thought I would go in, and it’s the most rewarding as well. It can also be the most frustrating but I love my two boys. I love watching them grow and make strides in life.


So, as I reflect a little more I want to say this in conclusion, Happy Father’s Day to all you fathers out there. Thank you for all that you do. Also, happy Father’s Day to all you mothers out there that have to be father’s.


And to those of you who are thinking about being a father, I say just do it!