Weatherman Al Roker admits that it has been tough for him to raise his special needs son Nicholas, but that doesn’t stop him from having all the love in the world for him.
“Do I get frustrated with my son sometimes? You bet,” the 64-year-old, who shares the teen with his wife, Deborah Roberts, told Guideposts magazine. He continued, “But then I remember my dad, how understanding he was. And Deborah reminds me that I have to show my son not only that I love him but that I like him as well. More than that, I admire him.”
The TV personality explained to the outlet that he and Deborah, 58, noticed their son was different after he was born in 2002. “We knew right from the beginning that he would be up against a whole different set of challenges,” Al recalled. “He wasn’t developing as fast as he should have, not holding our fingers as tightly, not always meeting our gaze, not as quick to crawl. At three, he hardly talked and could barely walk.” But once the proper help was given to Nicholas, his parents saw a major difference.
“Nick is a hard worker; he’s got a great sense of humor; he’s outgoing and a good swimmer; he’s developing a pretty good top-of-the-key basketball shot,” the Today correspondent said. “He takes chess lessons a couple times a week, and he does okay. He’s also very affectionate — like his grandfather — and full of love to share.”
The young man has even began assisting others. “Last year, he went on a mission trip to Haiti with teens from church, helping out at an orphanage, reading to the kids, playing games with them, doing chores,” Al revealed. “When we picked him up at the airport, the first thing he said in the car was ‘I can’t wait to go back.’” This has showed the couple just how far their son has come.
“Nick blossomed, far more than Deborah or I could have ever expected, given his original iffy prognosis,” the journalist admitted. “Where his OCD nature can be a drawback in some situations, it was a strength here. And he proved to be very competitive.”
“‘You must be proud of your son,’ someone will say. Yes, I am. More than they’ll ever know,” Al admitted. “The obstacles in this kid’s way were things that might have tripped up many others. Not Nick, not even with the disabilities he was born with. I can’t begin to take credit for who Nick is and who he might become,” he added. “All sorts of specialists can tell you about limitations for this and that. Nick never got that message.”
It truly is amazing to see the wonderful relationship Al has with his son.