[Sort of a repost from the last four years, updated appropriately – APB]
Eight years ago at 11:24 am EDT (1524 GMT), your humble blogger was handed the keys to a whole new vocabulary of love.
The gift came in the form of a 7 lb 13 oz (3,544 gm), 20.5 inch (52 cm) bundle of drooling, peeing, meconium-pooping bundle of baby girl, yanked from an incision in PharmGirl’s abdomen.
The lessons of compassion and unconditional love I have been taught by these two women have comprised the most formative experiences of my life.
In return, my wife, Heather, has suffered tremendous indignities on my behalf: the necessary biological machinations required to mix haploid DNA following our post-9/11 sorrow gave way to fatigue and sickness that all but ruined our previously-planned vacations to Mexico and Key West.
Even the positive pee stick that greeted us on Christmas morning, 2001, could not make up for the suffering that lie ahead during weeks 25-38 of gestation in the unforgiving North Carolina summer heat. Not to mention her having to resubmit NIH grant applications, deal with the academic patriarchy, and care for family members and cancer patients of her own, all the while.
Perhaps the worst, however, was immediately following this nine months of constant discomfort: post C-section complications and the unanticipated loss of 1400 mL of blood that required twice-daily massage of her abdomen and uterus that had only been sliced open 24-48 hours earlier. Her collegiate athletic career could not provide adequate preparation for the pain I witnessed.
Gents, we men are not man enough to be women.
And my dear daughter, who I’ll still call PharmKid given her transition into second grade this past month – the one who proudly calls me Daddy – the one who wanted to go see Jeff Tweedy play a few summers ago because, “he seems like a good daddy, too.”
This year, we seem to be more into Taylor Swift, Katie Perry, Demi Lovato, Miranda Cosgrove, and the Jonas Brothers. However, I keep playing Jon Shain, Marley, Coltrane, and Monk in the car – to keep laying the foundation.
I have never ever loved anyone or anything more than this girl. More surprisingly, to me at least, I had never known I was even capable of such a depth of emotion.
So, perhaps, just for today, I will put aside thoughts of my worthiness and just enjoy the gifts.
Happy Birthday….and thank you my sweet peas.