About me

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sugar cubes

This came in with my morning coffee.

From #1 son. He has figured how to make his shoes shine. Mind you, he's in AFROTC, and what you or I might call a shine, is not likely to pass inspection there.

This left me thinking.

He was about five. It was summer. It was time for a bunch of vaccinations. Three or four.

We went to the clinic. I had promised him any form of candy he wanted after the shots.

He had no idea what was coming. I did. I wrecked an office by turning over a floor to ceiling bookcase when it was my turn.

I remember that better than yesterday.

We walked in together. I did some paperwork. He sat on my lap wearing his safari clothes. I held him tightly.

The nurse put the shots in his thighs in under five seconds.

Bandaids applied, we left. Four eyes streaming tears without restraint. His head buried deeply in my shoulder. His chest, my chest, both heaving in the trauma.

Sobbing would be the understatement. We were fused. Might the nurses date from us?

What a sight we must have made to the other parents and children.

I have no apologies. I never will. Trauma is trauma, even when it's for the right thing.

In time, we can both function again. We drive to the grocery store in silence to fetch whatever he wants that I can afford.

And I do mean whatever, as I reminded him upon entry.

We enter. I follow him up and down the aisles, wondering why we're not focusing on the candy.

The boy is reviewing his options. Completely.

Finally, we settle in on a spot. He points. I lift him. He reaches and takes a box of sugar cubes.

Yeah, I got the look when we returned home. I didn't care. I knew I never would. I would do it all over again, but I hope I never do.

-- text tapped from a virtual keyboard. You found misspellings? Imagine that. Get over it.


VeggieAmanda said...

I remember the process as a kid and it is traumatizing. My parents were not very comforting about it. I never got the hugs or the candy. You are a good Dad.

Jim Penny said...

You might never know how I thank you!

Diane Schabinger said...

Smart boy. He made a good choice.

I also promised Justin any toy in the store when he cut his noggin when he fell as soon as he arrived at day care. At 18, he still remembers that toy. An automated RoboCop car that made cool noises and had flashing lights and opening doors, etc.

He was 3. I remember the day very clearly. I had taken it off planning to sew. My sew days never went as planned and that was the last time I attempted to have a sew day - I didn't want to risk anything worse happening.

We collected Justin from day care and took him to his doctor. We were at the doctor's office for a while and since it was a facial injury they referred us to the emergency room where we were for HOURS. Most of that time we were waiting for an ice pack sort of thing to sufficiently numb the area for them to stitch up his forehead. They thought that would be better than giving him a shot in the forehead. Bruce and I agreed.

Meanwhile, someone came in with a fish hook in his eye. It was not a day for the squeamish.

Little Justin was mostly quiet and snuggled. I had promised him any toy he wanted if he would be brave and do what the doctor said. He was very brave and he was giving that toy LOT of thought. He's always been a smart boy and he wasn't about to waste this. At some point maybe four hours in, he said, "You were right, Mom. This isn't so bad." It broke my heart because I knew what was coming - and he, poor boy, did not.

I just smiled and did my best to stay calm - even with the fish hook eye going by. It was not easy.

Then the doctor decided it was time. I hoped they would have something to restrain Justin's arms and legs. They did. Bruce and me. NO!! So Bruce holds Justin's legs, I hold Justin's arms, a nurse holds Justin's shoulders while the doctor uses an upholstery needle and begins to sew my baby's forehead closed just an inch or so from his eye. I'm maybe a foot away from the real action. I see it all - too clearly. Justin is NOT happy - who can blame him? I wanted the needle MUCH further away from his eye and I was praying for all I was worth - had been all morning. Especially after the fish hook.

It's now about 3 in the afternoon -I hadn't eaten since the night before - I felt the room go dark - but I held my baby's arms - I had to.

I heard the doctor ask "Are you ok?" I nodded and finally we were done and the light came on again. But I felt so horrible for what he had to go through. And I cried for the parents that have to face so much worse - as I know this was really not a big deal. But you'd take the pain for them if you could. But you just have to help them get through it - and hopefully they learn to cope with the next hurt.

After his 3rd ear tube surgery (and they took his tonsels out with this set) when he was maybe 4 - he was still out of it from the anesthesia - but he kept pulling out his IV. So they had me go back in the first waiting room - where parent's are NEVER allowed to see if I could clam him sufficiently to keep his IV in. It was splinted to his arm but even mostly asleep - he figured out how to brace it against his hip and pull his arm out and the IV with it. So I held him and his tiny hand and talked to him and sang to him and prayed and kept him from pulling the IV out for what seemed like days - I suppose it was less than an hour. At some point they gave up and took the IV out and he was fine from that point on.

Parenting requires a lot more than you ever imagine, but the rewards are so worth it.

You are a good Dad.
You are a good person.
You have a good heart.
You are a good man.
You are a good friend.
You are a good son.
You are a good brother.
Remember. Always.