Most of the time being a dad like me is routine. I help little man eat, brush his teeth, and learn to use the potty. I look forward to his smile everytime I come home. We take short walks when the weather is nice. At night, I read him stories as he lays his head on my chest. Everything is alright most of the time.
Sometimes being a dad is like last weekend. We were at a friends house to celebrate a birthday. I sat little man at the head of one of the tables so he would feel important. He loved the attention from everyone. Suddenly, his chair tipped backward down a few steps to lower level. KABAANG! Little man slid down the high back and onto the hard floor. He was screaming and tears shot out his eyes. I knocked my chair backward as I rushed to him. I thought about those instructions that say you should leave a person where they lay after they fall. I immediately picked him up anyway. A blood ran down his face like it was coming out of a faucet. Oh crap!
Dad's are great but when the s*** hits the fan, kids want their mom's. My dear wife was right behind me if only because she was one chair farther from little man or she would have been right in front of me. not more than a second after scooping little man off the floor, I handed him to his mom. He clutched her with all his might. My poor wife has an autonomic nervous response to the sight of blood, but she kept it together. She is a super trooper.
Another dad at the party found us towels and helped us get in the minivan. Go dads go! The host and his fiancee prepared an ice pack. Go hosts go! My wife ran into the minivan shoeless. We left little man's shoes behind. I spent an eternity lacing up my sneakers. Why-o-why didn't we where sandals!
I curse those damned child restraint laws! My wife had to kneel in the backseat holding pressure on little man's head. All the while baby sister was cyring in her carseat, unbuckled. My wife was buckling with one hand and holding pressure with the other. Flooding had a closed a nearby road and I had no idea how to get around it and get to the hospital. Blessed be lucky left turns.
Emergency rooms are no fun at all. Blood, crying, hungry baby, parking, finding my family, and we still had to check in at triage. We were quickly sent to one of the child friendly rooms. I sat with little man on the gurney while the nurse cleaned up his head. My son's little hand was tight around my big finger and more than once I held back tears. The nurse gave him some topical pain medication. After thirty minutes of reading and watching a "Thomas" video play on the ceiling, a doctor stapled a deep cut on his scalp: little man's first peircings. He barely winced, that boy of mine. That night I woke him twice to make sure he didn't have a concussion. I asked him if he know my name and his own. He did. And for good measure he told me his mom's name, his sister's name, and that of all his grandparents.
This wasn't little man's first owie. He has had eye surgery, skinned knees and elbows, a cat scratch, rashes, colds, flus, and the occasional freakout for no reason at all. Everytime I see him suffer my heart breaks. Yet, these are not the worst times to be a dad. They are the very best.
Huzaa to my children and hoping I will always be there for them.