2. Grief

My wife told me that my son had been diagnosed with Autism over the phone. I was sitting in the abandoned guardhouse on the southern bank of the Euphrates River that served as the HQ for Special Operations Task Force West in Iraq. It had been three months since I’d seen him. I knew she was worried about him. He’d stopped talking shortly after I left. The regression happened before that really. I hadn’t noticed though. So when she said she was going to have him tested, I figured it would confirm that he was fine. I was wrong. And…

11. Joy

By the time I was 32 years old, I’d spent four years behind the walls at Annapolis, completed three tours in a war zone, moved a dozen times, finished business school, cared for my mother who was dying of ALS and had three children with my wife in three and a half years. I felt like I’d been ground to the nub. And I was ready for the part of life that was supposed to be fun. That’s when my son was diagnosed. Tolstoy was right about families. The happy ones may all be the same. But the unhappy ones…

14. Time

In any enterprise, there’s at least one singular scarce resource; that one thing on which all depends but is limited in its availability. Successful enterprises identify that scarce resource and manage it effectively. Sometimes understanding which resource it is, isn’t obvious. Money problems are often time problems in disguise. Time problems are often lurking talent gaps. Groups that fail to recognize what their true scarcity is fail spectacularly in ways that often puzzle those responsible for their success as they invest more and more in things that don’t matter and fail to protect that which is critical and can’t be…

18. Discipline

I don’t know how to discipline your child. No one outside the small group of people that observe him or her on a daily basis does. Anyone telling you otherwise is selling something. The reality for many of us on the special needs parenting journey is that it doesn’t much matter; in the classic sense of our children’s intellectually informed decisions and the measured consequences that complete their feedback loops. Discipline when it comes to our kids falls somewhere behind happy, safe and loved. And for many dads that’s a hard pill to swallow. So, I’ve got good news. I’m…