Well, it was Father's Day and we had our Samuel home for pretty much the whole day. My mom and I made biscuits and gravy and bacon - a heart-destroying throwback to old fashioned farm brunches. It's my dad's favourite and I thought there should be a little something to remind him of his mom on his first father's day without her. We had brunch together while the dads took a really brief break from building the trampoline.
|Chris and Dad building the trampoline. Notice the rain drops on the deck. Notice the exertion on their faces. Notice the absence of the instruction booklet.|
|Certainly, one might think that Samuel would be enough of a miracle for one family. But no. Here is my dad... wait for it... reading the instruction manual. Be still my heart.|
|Isn't Father's Day all about working your arse off to make your kids really, really happy?! It isn't?! Oh.|
And now for a little letter-writing to the honoured dads.
To Dad, Love Samuel
Mommy said she couldn’t write this blog entry because it would just make her bawl so I am writing it for her. I'm happy to do it since it's pretty clear to me already that you are a great dad. When you first found out I was on the way, Mum was scared and you were all kid-on-Christmas stupid-happy. When you found out that I was going to be really really sick, you were the one who had faith that it would be okay. When the doctors gave little hope and Mum couldn’t bear to hope and being the person with hope seemed just a little foolish, you had hope.
When Mum had polyhydramnios and a separated symphisis pubis and couldn’t walk and could hardly get out of bed, you cooked and took care of my brothers and sometimes came home early even though work was really crazy busy too. Yea, you lose your keys and your glasses and your cell phone a lot. Okay, every day. But you don’t lose your temper much. And you don’t lose hope.
Mum likes to pretend that she’s the one holding it all together. But I know – and she knows it too – that a really big part of why we’re all okay is because of your absolutely boundless dedication to your family. Mum believed you when you promised that you would take care of us. During the most difficult days, she rode on your faith and energy. Thank you for that.
Thank you for playing with my brothers so that Mommy could be with me. Thank you for understanding that I knew her smell and her heartbeat and her voice and making sure that I could have her near me. Thank you for making sure that I got some of you as well. I will never forget the way you sang to me and read The Snail and the Whale to me every single day. I will never forget when you finally got to hold me. I don’t think the ICU folk will forget it either since it’s not so often you see a father so openly express that most incredible gratitude and love and wonder.
I know how lucky I am. Mommy tells me all the time when you aren’t listening. I know you will love me well through whatever life I am here to live. I know you will teach me about woodworking and god and expressing feelings and building a campfire and being a man. A really good man. And since it looks like I’m going to get to stick around and grow up, I intend to teach you some things too.
Speaking of teaching you some things, um, sorry about scaring you so badly. I am sure I turned grey those last four brown hairs on your head. I know that you watched me born and intubated. I know you kissed me as they took me to the NICU and that you said good-bye when I was taken off to surgery and worried that was the end. I know that you followed whatever information you could all along in case there was something you could fix for me. I know how much you wanted me and how much you love me. I know that all those questions you asked the doctors and nurses and respiratory therapists were really the same question; “is my son going to be okay?”
I’m going to be okay. Happy Father’s Day. Thanks for being my dad.
|Samuel, a few minutes old and newly intubated, with his Daddy.|
|Samuel, 3 months old and outside for the first time.|
|Samuel, four months old, on a home pass and hanging with daddy.|
To Dad, Love Corinne
Happy Father’s Day. You know that picture frame I gave you, the one that says, “If you don’t believe in super heroes, you haven’t met my Grandpa.” You are my super hero, Dad. You always have been. I have a few other super heroes now by the names Chris, Daniel, Zachary, Jacob and Samuel. But you are my first super hero and that’s forever.
Thank you for standing behind us through all this, even foregoing your winter in Arizona. I know you worried that something would happen to your baby just as I worried that something would happen to my baby. I know you don’t really talk about your feelings. (Hey you people out there who just coughed “understatement” into your hands, cut that out.) But you express your love in a million ways in the things you do for us. I get it.
Thanks for doing our dishes so I that I get to come home to a clean kitchen. Thanks for making my kids Boppa Grilled Cheese. I have no idea what it is about your grilled cheese but I guess super heroes have those kinds of secret powers. Thanks for fixing miscellaneous things around here, some of which we are too busy to even notice need fixing. Thanks for the Costco care packages and various other ways you think of to help. Thanks for changing our burnt out light bulbs. Who knew that Chris and I had such an issue with changing light bulbs?! You know that joke, “How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one but first the bulb has to really, really want to change.” I guess it’s not such a joke!
And thanks for a whole whack of other things that are too numerous to mention. Most recently, thanks for spending Father’s Day in our backyard sweating and getting rained on and being bitten by mosquitoes so that my boys could have a really cool, really safe, really fun trampoline and I could have a way to keep them entertained this summer while I’m looking after Samuel.
Oh, and thanks for adoring our newest super hero. I see it in your eyes. I love you, Dad.
|Samuel, one month old, with his grandparents.|
|Samuel, four months old, with Boppa.|