Blind dad shares parenthood experiences in blog to help others
Published Monday, June 19, 2017 10:04AM EDT
From changing a diaper to reading a bedtime story, becoming a new parent can be a nerve-wracking time for nearly everyone.
For Keith Rempel, it was even more intimidating because he’s completely blind.
The Edmonton father of nine-month-old Cecilia decided to document his experiences as a father in a blog titled “My dad is blinder than your dad!” after he had difficulty finding information about what to expect from other blind parents.
“I just found a few little anecdotes from people about experiences they had being blind parents and I thought that I really wish there was more,” Rempel told CTV Edmonton on Sunday.
Rempel’s blog posts cover everything from learning to cook to convincing his newborn to sleep to taking his first walk to the park with her.
He’s often candid and honest in his writing, sharing embarrassing moments, such as when he poked his daughter with a spoonful of oatmeal, and heartwarming ones, like developing a “secret language” based on the clicking sounds he uses for echolocation.
“She started clicking,” his wife Michelle said. “That’s something Keith does when he’s walking without his cane, or even with his cane sometimes.”
The 31-year-old father said he hopes his blog will help other blind people new to parenthood.
“I just kind of thought, ‘Well, you know, might as well write it as something maybe other blind people can read if they're in a similar situation to what I was,’” Rempel said.
Michelle said the blog has become an outlet for her husband and an opportunity for him to connect with other parents facing similar challenges.
“I'm just hoping it will build a bit of a community for other blind parents,” she said.
Rempel said the biggest challenge of becoming a new parent with blindness was fear of the unknown. He said he was particularly terrified of learning to change a diaper.
“The first couple weeks I was so scared of doing it wrong or anything. Now I look back on it, and I’m like, ‘Why was I even worried about that?’” Rempel said.
The new father said he still has plenty of learning left to do, but that’s “keeping up” for now.
“We’ll see how that changes once Cecilia starts walking and deciding it’s a good idea to run away from dad when we’re out at the park or something like that,” Rempel said with a laugh. “But, so far so good.”
With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Taylor Oseen