Brady would be mortified if he knew I were writing this so if you see him in the street, please keep this particular post on the down-low.

He deserves all the attention that we could possibly ever give him, but the last thing he wants is the praise and limelight. I’m hoping he’ll appreciate this someday, but he’d die of embarrassment if he were to see it today.

Brady is glue.

He’s always quietly holding things together behind the scenes. He never asks for recognition, and would always prefer a quiet thank you over any kind of fanfare.

Brady had his 11th birthday yesterday and I can’t let another day go by without expressing my gratitude for the amazing human that I get to call my son.

So why exactly is Brady glue?

I’m glad you asked. Because on the surface it probably feels a bit strange for a parent to compare their offspring to a household adhesive, but believe me, Brady is glue.

Glues Allows the Bonding of Dissimilar Materials

To understand one way that Brady is glue, you need to understand the dynamics of my family, at least a little bit. Brady has two brothers with autism, two neurotypical (mostly) parents, and a 140 pound Newfie Lab. We’re like the 2019 iteration of the Brady Bunch except for instead of blending two families, we’re blending a cocktail of complex behaviors and neuroses.

You’re every-day-run-of-the-mill ten eleven-year-old is going to buckle under the pressure of the cement mixer of everyday life in this type of environment. I know I would have (I still do). But not only does Brady survive in the heat of the kiln, he somehow brings all of the pieces together and melds them into a beautiful sum of parts. He creates art from scrap.

Brady is glue.

Glue Is Flexible

Any good structural engineer will tell you that rigidity and brittleness are the enemy of sound structures. The earth moves every single day. An edifice with high tensile strength but no flexibility is going to buckle with even the slightest shift in its foundation.

Lucky for me this family is held together with one of the most impressive materials ever conceived. Brady’s ability to go with the flow” is astounding to me. I watch in awe as he accommodates the needs of everyone in the family at the expense of his own interests. And he does it all with a thumbs-up readily available and a Cowabunga attitude. It’s remarkable.

And to be clear, we really go out of our way to give Brady the most normal” childhood we know how. We try not to ask too much. He simply has a unique ability to sense when the structure is on the verge of collapse, and his flexibility will help us reset to fight another day.

He’s done everything from canceling events we know he was looking forward to, volunteering to stay with his brothers while mom and dad take a much-needed five to refuel with Diet Coke, all the way up to volunteering his allowance money to pay for a treat when Collin is inconsolable.

Brady is glue.

Glue Becomes Stronger Under Heat and Pressure

We all have hard days. And my definition of hard is different from your definition of hard. But we all have days where we feel the need to throw our hands in the air and give up.

It’s in these moment’s that Brady’s strength becomes the most fierce.

I’ll never forget the time that he turned down an iPhone because he was worried about how it might make his friends feel. At 10, had I been presented with one of the most impressive technological devices on the planet, my friends probably wouldn’t have ever seen me again.

And I’ll also never forget about the time that Collin and Patrick were both completely distraught at the same time. Kicking, screaming, the works. None of us knew what to do or how to cope. And as I rounded the corner into the living room, I found our ten year old on his knees, supplicating to the Lord that Collin and Patrick can be happy again.”

In a moment where breaking down would have been totally understandable, and frankly, was how I reacted, Brady reached for the most powerful tool in his arsenal and brought us all back together in an instant.

Brady is glue.

Happy Birthday, Brady. I hope you read this someday. But not today. I just want you to be happy today. I love you, buddy.

September 23, 2019