I’m back: Just in Time for the Holidays

So, I’m back like Jordan, except instead of retiring from fatherhood blogging and dabbling in minor league baseball, I had another kid. Things are starting to calm down a bit, as our daughter Spencer is now 6 months old and solidfying herself as a respectable member of the family. This has allowed my wife, as well as myself, to get back to things we enjoy doing…

Speaking of, maybe you’ve read my wife’s new blog about life and motherhood. She’s such a copy cat. Maybe I’m just bitter because if you have indeed read it, you’ve realized how much smarter she is than me, and how her blog makes mine look like a toddler wrote it. Luckily for me, I now have a toddler that I can blame it on if need be. I’m funnier though, I think.

I imagine the experience you have reading her blog is much like enjoying a filet mignon while sipping on a glass of cabernet, having deep, meaningful conversations about life and how to better yourself. But after that, if you’d like to eat crackers and cheez whiz while binging on Netflix, come on over to my blog for the nightcap….

So where did I leave off last time? I think it was during the easier days of one kid where leaving the diaper bag at home and having to change a diaper in a Walgreens parking lot was worth writing about. With two kids its more like calling your wife saying, “Hey babe, I’m on my way to meet you at my parents. You have both kids right?” Oh the problems that we thought were problems. She had both by the way, so we’re good. Toddlers hide, give me a break…

But…we are almost near the end of another year, so time to reflect…

In all seriousness, this year has been filled with blessings, like the birth of our little angel, who has a natural energy about her that lifts the spirits of everyone around her. She wakes up smiling, right there on the monitor, I watch it happen. Her morning routine consists of eyes open, cheeks up, as she wiggles in excitement to see who comes in and gets her. The other night she didn’t feel well and vomited all over me, and as I turned on the light in defeat, she was beaming at me. She made cleaning myself and the rocking chair a happy occassion, just by being her. She is a lot like her mom in that way. My wife’s presence can make even the bitter old man who everyone avoids, who hasn’t been happy since 1990, crack a smile. I’ve seen a cashier working during the holidays who is one customer remark away from quitting, take a deep breath, sigh in relief and let a glimmer of happiness come across her face when she realizes this customer is one who understands, and who doesn’t think her life and job is more important than hers.  I have literally watched frustration, hate, anger, and stress leave a person’s body when Rachel has an interaction with them. People nobody else would even think about approaching, Rachel befriends, and figures out who they truly are. I honestly believe she’s saved many lives because of this, without knowing or trying. I hope my daughter grows up to naturally have that skill and way with people, because I don’t think it can be taught.

But anyway, my daughter is not only like my wife personality wise, she is the spitting image of her, so she’s very pretty, which is nice now, but I see it being an issue for me in years down the road. But for now I’ll allow it…

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Spencer 12/18/18 (6 months old)

On the other hand, this year didn’t come and go without its scares. A few months back, our son, who is almost 2 now (remember that little guy from my first blog?) was hospitalized in the ICU with SVT. Now, knowing what we know now, SVT (Supraventricular Tachycardia) is not life threatening and he will either grow out of it or have it corrected by age 4, but when a doctor’s visit for a cold turns into being told that you need to get to the ER as soon as possible because your son’s tiny little heart is going at a rate of 310 bpm, your mind goes to the worst place. Especially when at first you aren’t told what was possibly happening, and you watch your son’s face get shoved into a bag of ice, and then given meds that will momentarily stop his heart. Sorry, what was that? My wife asked the doctor before he was administered the medication, “Do kids’ hearts ever not start back up after doing this?”, and the response was, “We never say never in this line of work.” Cue the dad tears…

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The bed was a little small for me, but I wasn’t not getting in there.

It’s no secret, my son is MY mini me and we are best friends. Our relationship is extremely special, to the point where I have had friends jokingly (or maybe not) ask me if I even know my daughters name. Har har har!! But nothing has made me look at life the way I do now more than those moments of holding him while his heart was stopped. Holding him thinking “Is he going to be okay?”, “If he is okay, is he going to have a normal life?”, “Will he be able to play sports?”, “Is he going to have any limitations at all? And if so, God, can you just give those to me instead?” While these moments changed my life forever, his resilience through it all was just as impactful. He pulled me out of those dark thoughts and showed me what was actually there, and what was there was a boy who was tough as nails who held it together better than his crying dad. A boy who endured the pain equivalent to three heart attacks in one day and owned it. A boy who somehow made me even more proud to be his dad than I already was.

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That’s one bad ass toddler, folks.

This rambunctious, active 20 month old boy was in a bed hooked up to countless machines for 48 hours, and somehow he mangaged to find ways to have fun. While at the same time knew he needed to rest and was content being strapped to a  bed, when normally sitting on a lap for more than five seconds was a rarity. He amazed me and I learned so much from watching him. That’s what we need to do as adults. Why do we a lot of times shy away from finding the good things in a bad situation? When did we stop finding things to make us happy with what we have, and start accepting defeat instead? This boy is my buddah, my muse, but more about how he made me a better person in blogs to come.

While in the end this experience was not nearly as serious as it sounded or seemed, we didn’t know that in the moment, and it snapped me out of living life expecting it to always be fine. While I’m extremely thankful this situation was nothing more than it was, it made me realize things can change that quickly. I’ve always been good at soaking in the moments and realizing whats there while its there, just ask my wife. She will always ask me things like “Doesn’t high school seem like yesterday?” and as I respond to all questions of this nature, I say,  “No, its seems like about 12 years ago.” I think thats because early on I learned to genuinely be in the moment and absorb it all, therefore time doesn’t pass by quickly. This is because you’re picking up every last crumb that day has to offer. With that being said, this experience catepulted me into another dimention of that skill. Take nothing for granted…

With the holidays coming up, I hope everyone has time to reflect on the good in their life, and I challenge you to find that good. If this year has taught me anything, its that. I hope everyone enjoys every second with loved ones. Don’t just be there, BE THERE. Pay attention to what is going on around you, listen to what everyone is saying, study the moment so that it lasts. Don’t regret not being somewhere where you were, just because you weren’t present. And most of all, I hope everyone takes time to remember what this time of year is truly about and what we are actually celebrating, Santa’s birthday.

Sorry, I couldn’t end on a serious note, if you want that go read my wife’s blog :).

*And as for the question I’m sure you asked yourself before you even clicked, “What the hell is that picture with the cats?” That would be a picture I photoshopped of myself and sent out as a Christmas card to family and friends when I was single. I hear it still hangs in some residences…

-Chime out

 

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