Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
This morning before I dropped you off at school, I told you I wanted to take a picture of you wearing your cool sunglasses for Nonna and Papa.
Without hesitation, this is how you posed:
You instantly crossed your arms like a classic tough guy!
How did you know to do that? It’s not something I’ve ever specifically taught you.
Yet somehow, you knew that because you were getting your picture taken with your black skull-and-crossbones sunglasses (which you identify as “robots”) you instinctively knew that meant to look as masculine as possible.
So you did.
After laughing about this picture all day, a deep thought finally crossed my mind:
I am your main model of masculinity. You get free testosterone lessons from me everyday.
Sure, I know the importance of you getting regular exposure to a positive male role model.
But this goes beyond that. In fact, it’s more subtle than that. The way I walk, talk, play, react… you’re catching clues from my daily performance.
You are learning to be a boy (and ultimately, a man) according to my free lessons.
I take it as a compliment that you are a strong-willed yet polite little boy. That’s pretty much what I’m aiming for.
It’s important to me that you are a true Southern gentleman when it’s all said and done.
I want to know you’ll always stand up for yourself and protect others, yet not be an instigator.
It’s no secret: I am raising and training you to be a leader among others.
Sure, I may err on the side of bravado here, but I love to see that at just 2 and a half, you already sort of remind me of the toddler version of Bruce Willis.
I can easily imagine you driving a motorcycle away from a fiery explosion; like in every cliche action movie trailer I’ve ever seen.
You’re the man.
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Monday, March 18th, 2013
2 years, 4 months.
It seems like only a year ago that you had your febrile seizure.
And it seems like only two days ago on your 2.333rd birthday that I said this:
“You haven’t had another [febrile seizure] since; in fact, the last time you were even sick at all was last July.
As your dad, I am so grateful and thankful for your health, safety, and general well-being.
I don’t worry about you, but I am constantly aware of what precious cargo you are and how I responsible I need to be for you.”
With that being said, I had to take you to the ER today at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital because you were slipping into another febrile seizure.
I’m more of a romanticized, big picture, spare-me-the-technical-details kind of storyteller, so I’ll just regurgitate the highlights as best as I remember them happening over the past 24 hours:
Mommy had already left late for work due to a tornado warning, you had a fever of 105, I gave you fever-reducing medicine, we were watching Hard Hat Harry’s All About Monster Trucks, you starting shivering, I took off your clothes, your lips looked like they were going numb…
As I held you while talking to the nurse on the phone, you started convulsing like you did in last year’s febrile seizure…
When you did that it scared me, which then scared you, which caused you to wake up from the first three seconds of this year’s febrile seizure…
The nurse on the phone said to bring you to the ER instead of the pediatrician’s office, I threw your clothes in a Kroger bag, I by default imagined myself as Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movies as we drove through the post-tornado warning weather to the hospital…
I remember snapping my fingers a lot to keep you awake as I drove you there, saying, “Stay with me, son! Wake up! Don’t fall asleep! Listen, I’m snapping my fingers like Hard Hat Harry does…”.
When we got there, I found out you had caught a case of Roseola, which had caused your temperature to spike, setting your body up to go into seizure mode.
Thank God, you’re okay… again.
It was scarier for me this 2nd time because I didn’t have Mommy or an ambulance. I kept telling you, “You’re going to be okay, son. Daddy’s taking care of you. Hang with me…”.
I knew what I was saying was true, but at the same time my trust was in God, not myself.
Navigating my way to the ER in post-tornadic weather, trying to find out where to park once I got there (!), and keeping you from falling into another seizure because I hated the thought of your seizing while I drove 65 mph on the interstate in the wind and rain…
Well, I really do feel like Bruce Willis in a Die Hard movie right now.
As for you having another febrile seizure, A) I’m becoming a pro at what to do now and B) I’ll going ahead and mark my calendar for next March, so hopefully I can jinx it.
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