Most of the time being a dad is really cool. Watching your kids learn is an amazing, possibly even a frigintastical experience. Other times it can be really frustrating or even down right scary. I remember when my oldest son was born. He was 10 weeks early, and quite frankly I didn’t really believe my wife when she told me we had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. Fortunately she convinced me and we rushed to the other side of town. He was born before the doctor made it to the hospital “in call” (my wife’s water hadn’t even broken).
His little cry was so small and distant that when my wife told me he was here (I had stepped into the hall for less than a minute with my 10 month old daughter to call out friends one more time and missed him being born), that I didn’t believe her for the second time. I knew she was confused because the only baby I could hear had to have been down the hall. Then I saw this tiny baby (3lbs 6oz) through the nurses crowded around the heat lamp. That was the first time I saw him.
Over the next 6 weeks we had to drive to visit him, and it was a real struggle, but he kept fighting, kept getting bigger, kept getting stronger. Little man didn’t let being born too early slow him down all that much.
He is still pushing hard. He struggles with many things, a post for another day, and he is still willful and defiant, mostly in a good way. The other day I learned that I don’t enjoy all the educational experiences my children might have. I told him, and the other 3, not to play on the treadmill at a friend’s house. They had turned it on once already. A while later I heard it spinning up and I ran to them. When I came in I saw a pile of blankets (which I later learned were for “safety”) at the back of the treadmill and my son sitting on them. I barked at all the kids and turned it off again, unplugging the key once more. All of the sudden my 6 year old son started screaming. He had slipped and caught his hand on the treadmill. It removed a good size bit of skin from his hand, we ended up having to take him to the doctor over it. All in all he is fairing well, but…
We both learned something that day. He learned to listen if I say not to play on the treadmill ever again. I learned I don’t want to watch my kids learn the hard way.