On Glasses of Wine, Sippy Cups of Juice, and Moments of a Lifetime

Everyone can remember moments in their lives, some even recently, where we’ve been touched or moved in way outside of our normal day to day routine.  I’m an emotional person, often times wearing my heart on my sleeve.  Because of this, I’m often in tune with emotional things – sometimes even hearing the right song on the radio can put me in an emotional state (or make me tear up – I’ll admit it).  I react both very positively and very negatively to my own emotional triggers.  When I hit a positive emotional trigger, I often reach a sense of euphoria – where I find myself wanting to write down my immediate thoughts or feelings in the form of words.  Often, especially as of lately (hence the slow blog posts – sorry, I’ll do better), I have not had the luxury to do just that.  But I’ll sure try to make up for it here:

Moment Number One – A True Valentines Day Experience

My wife and I have been married now for over two years, going on 3 in October.  I love her in more ways than what I can count.  However, what I can count is the times we’ve actually been able to work on our relationship just one on one – or together (see Webster dictionary for “dating”).  With three children – or the process thereof of having three children of the last years – it’s been almost impossible to find that time or be rewarded with it, especially given the fact we normally can’t find or afford a babysitter for all three children. We’ve literally gone almost a half of a year without a date before – meaning literally just a two hour dinner with just the two of us.  Thanks to my Mother, who came out for a visit and to help with the kids, we were awarded the opportunity this Valentines Day.  What made it kind of unique for me, is given that we’ve spent so little one-on-one time together; I was actually nervous as I would have been for a 2nd or 3rd date.  I wanted things to go right, I wanted to savor every moment of our time together, as I fully knew the next opportunity would not be for quite some time.

What I realized, as I sat across from my wife at the restaurant and she giggled at me for messing up our wine order (apparently your supposed to let them pour for you, and not go over half a glass -oops) – as she grabbed my hand and smiled… Was that even if I had met this woman yesterday – or for that matter, today – I’d still fall in love with her, still marry her, still have a family with her. I literally looked across from the table at my wife, and in a quick private moment, I was given the divine assurance that this woman was indeed my soul mate – the love of my life.  I felt lucky. I had gotten so caught in the routine, so caught in the pressures of family, children, and duty – that I had not previously seen the obvious. I fell back in love with my wife that night.

Moment Number Two – Discovering Parenting Has Insurmountable Emotions

If you ever want to know what it’s like to go through a true emotional roller-coaster – and not just the one where you might be having a bad day type of roller-coaster… Do the following: 1). Walk your toddler back for surgery. 2) Wait in a waiting room for 3 hours. 3) Walk back to the recovery, and view your baby sound asleep, holding his hand as he wakes up.

My 19th month old went in for a minor surgery – nothing life threatening, but necessary.  In order to perform the 2 hour procedure, they had to put him under general anesthesia.  I literally thought I’d be OK with this, but by the time they gave him the medicine to calm him down – I wanted the medicine as well.  For at that moment, I was entirely trusting the life of my son to strangers I had met that morning.  Moreover, I watched as my toddler really DIDN’T freak out – which in turn freaked ME out, because I realized at that moment he was so trusting in me – so trusting that I would not let him go somewhere or for someone to do something bad, that he remained calmer than I did.  I realized in that moment, that I had managed to create a bond with a child who literally thinks that Dad (and Mom) were always going to make sure things were okay.

So as I sat in the waiting room, I realized something that almost made me hyperventilate.  What if I can’t always make sure things are okay? What happens when he does get hurt? When someone breaks his heart? When he falls and I’m not there to catch him? Will I lose that bond I’ve managed to create? What if he wakes up from surgery and doesn’t trust me for what I’ve done – will he understand? When will he stop trusting me?  Will I eventually break this “faith of a child”? Will I be the one responsible for tearing away his innocence?

I couldn’t stand the pressure.  I barely talked to my wife in the waiting room.  We both sat there, silently praying and fidgeting, hoping our little guy was okay.  Right about the moment I thought I could not take the questions running through my mind anymore, the nurse called us back.  I think God was listening to my questions, because he managed to not necessarily answer them out loud immediately in the waiting room moments before.  Instead, he let me see my child open his eyes and ask for juice and Teddy Grahms in his baby sign language and groggy baby vocabulary of “MoreHa,” “Cupa,” and “Puhleez”.

So God did answer, a little voice in my head whispered something back – Juice and Teddy Grahms. I just need to stock up on juice and Teddy Grahms – Grantin his eyes, in this moment – that’s what it’s gonna take..

Alright God! You and me,  we’ve got it under control. Today I’m a hero with a Sippy cup and a snack. And today?

Well today’s all that matters.

– Grant

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