Back in January, my seven year old son broke his ankle, the poor kid. Of course, this led to many sleepless nights, surgery, casts, and a boot. The trampoline was not even two weeks old before it claimed its first victim!
The boy was a trooper throughout the whole ordeal. The 36 hours before the surgery were the most difficult of my nine plus years as a father. He dealt with intense pain, and we could not comfort him. The medications we had on hand did not relieve the pain, and there was no time to find something stronger. His mother and I each slept about 4 hours total those 2 nights, and he slept less.
After surgery, he shined. He learned to use crutches within a couple hours and soon raced around on them. By the time the cast came off he begged to get back out on the trampoline and is doing great. I could not be more proud of him. Even the boot is off now, and he's back to running around already.
In the midst of this, our nine year old son started a new baseball season, and guess who took the reigns as head coach? Coaching 13 nine and ten year olds keeps me busy and rewards me in ways I never expected. I helped coach both my boys' baseball teams most years since they started playing, but this age group is different than the past. The boys understand the game and play at a whole new level. It is fun watching them learn to excel at and love a sport I love and am passionate about.
To top it all off, my wife and I welcomed our fourth child into the world at the end of March. Our little girl is adorable, loud, alert, and beautiful.
Leading up to her birth, I worried. I did not feel the same level of excitement I felt during the pregnancies of my first three children. It's not that I did not want another child, I really did. But the whole thing started to feel routine. It didn't feel new, and I felt more relaxed than I thought I should.
I worried that I wouldn't feel the same way about her that I felt for the others. It's a weird thought to have, but I felt nervous that I would not give her the same attention I gave the others as babies. Then, of course, I got down on myself and berated myself for being such a terrible father (when nothing even happened yet!).
I'm not going to go into a detailed description of my wife's labor, though I think that would be a great test of my writing ability. I will say that the moment I saw that slimy, crying, naked baby and cut her umbilical cord, I wept with joy. I felt exactly the same about her that I felt when introduced to my other three children. She is mine, and I will do everything in my power to love and raise her the way she deserves.
I wish I could better describe the feeling of meeting your child for the first time. Throughout pregnancy, there's this surreal understanding of the life inside my wife's womb. I saw sonogram pictures of her, talked to her, felt her kick and hiccup. Yet in that moment that she burst onto the scene and announced her presence with a mighty cry, everything in my life changed.
I could not breath. I could not speak. All the cares and stresses of the world faded away. Our family became more complete in that moment than it had been before. And the weirdest thing? I can't remember or imagine life without her as a part of it, and she is only two weeks old.
I hope you'll excuse my ramblings. I needed to write, as it has been too long since the last time (even my review of Fiona's book was nearly complete months ago before I could get around to finishing it and posting it). Thank you for reading. As our daughter let's us sleep again, I plan to fix my daily routine and get back to reading and writing.