Simon and Zidane's Story
Written by Chantelle Campbell
Sunny Nelson is where Simon and Zidane call home. Simon has been parenting alone for two and a half years. Zidane was four years old when his mother left, leaving Simon and Zidane to become the inspiring team that they are today.
Their story isn’t just your typical solo father raising a child story, this story is quite remarkable and definitely inspirational. Simon has cerebral palsy and relies on the use of his wheel chair for mobility. This has brought about its own sorts of challenges in addition to the common challenges that most single parents face, but it has also attributed to the tight bond between father and son.
Simon says that the hardest thing about being a sole parent is having to explain to his son why his mother repeatedly fails with contact and visits without putting her down or lowering Zidane’s opinion of her. Simon also struggles at times with put downs from the other parents at Zidane’s school. He has heard their cruel remarks as he has passed by including "Oh that poor boy, having to look after his father at that age" and "He is a sole parent? Really? I hope he doesn't mess around with that poor boy". These comments are extremely hurtful, derogatory and rude, but Simon still rises above them.
Simon's favourite thing about being a sole parent is watching Zidane succeed at school and sports. He is extremely proud and appreciative of his son telling me “He is an amazing boy who also helps me out with things around the house as I'm in a wheelchair. He makes his own breakfast as well as gets himself dressed and ready for the day/school. All I need to do is take him to where he needs to be”.
At six years old Zidane can count in four languages and knows the first eight elements of the periodic table off by heart. He is a happy, healthy boy and is a compliment to the job that Simon has done raising him. Zidane loves swimming, karate, skylanders, spelling, reading lots of books, and playing games with his Dad.
When asked what the most favourite thing about his dad is, Zidane answered with "I love that my Dad is awesome and we are a good team together. I like to play Skylanders with my Dad, ball at the school playground and I love when he takes me swimming. I especially love our hugs". This small family shows that even when living with adversity, sole parent families can overcome anything.