Pulling Over: One Dad’s Search for Beauty in His Daily Parenting Routine

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About Steve Edwards

Steve Edwards lives in Massachusetts with his wife and young son. He is the author of the memoir, Breaking into the Backcountry, the story of his time as the caretaker of a backcountry homestead along the Rogue National Wild and Scenic River in Oregon. His writing can be found in Electric Literature, AGNI Online, The Fiddleback, and Terrain.org. You can find Steve online at steveedwardswriter.com and he tweets at @The_Big_Quiet


  1. Steve,

    Another great essay!

    Just to preempt anyone who may be thinking (or writing) — “Yeah, it’s like that with *all* kids, kitcherwhinin’” Let someone who has parented both children with special needs and children with challenging (but not “special”) needs – it *is* different for Dads like Steve!



  2. Thanks so much, Gary. It can be isolating to have such challenges, and it’s always nice to remember that there is, in fact, community. Appreciate your comment.

  3. Wow! Thanks for the realistic story of dealing with hardship. Because, your son has stomach troubles, You might want to check with a naturopath. Food sensitivities can cause behavioral problems, and MDs miss them. And, Medicines can cause illnesses.

  4. Respect Steve. I get frustrated enough to swear when I’m dealing with my two boys, who aren’t facing the same challenges, and who are really quite well behaved wee boys. I believe firmly that society should be more supportive of parents like you… and yes I know this means the reallocation of resources. But it is hard to find the beauty in life when you’re in a constant state of stress, and plenty of people have significantly fewer issues to deal with on a day to day basis. A problem shared in this respect can be more than halved. In the meantime best wishes finding more examples of beauty.

  5. David–Thanks so much for the note. My goal in sharing a few stories is to serve as a reminder that we (myself included!) don’t always realize/recognize the challenges other people are facing. So what you said means a lot to me. I’m also working–albeit slowly–at seeing these challenges as something beautiful, if only for the love required in navigating them. Best wishes to you!

  6. Steve,

    Great job portraying a day in the life. I have parented a special needs child and 3 other children for years. It never ceases to amaze me when a friend or family member thinks they “get it” and they are no where close to understanding the stress and frustration. I am grateful only one of my children is special needs. Because this single mom thing is hard enough…if I had more than one, well I’m sure I would do just fine on less sleep. You sound like AWESOME parents – keep up the good work.


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