6 years ago today…..

4:00 am – “Doug, I think my water broke”.

I’m fairly sure the next 15 minutes could have been filmed for a sitcom.  I was running around the bedroom, gathering the things that I needed at the hospital.  We had actually just packed Joni’s bag about 5 hours prior to her water breaking.  I think Joni had to remind me to put on clothes.

Off to the hospital, making all of the necessary phone calls to the grandparents & friends for prayer.

From this point on, Joni and I have different recollections of that day.  You’ll have to ask her…..

–  I was scared to death that at some point I would do something wrong.  I’ve been attending “appts.” for that.

–  I remember my best friend Dan showing up at like 5:30 am with Dunkin Donuts coffee for me.  Joni had not yet come to the dark side.

–  I also remember Dan & Sherri showing up with Subway for lunch.  We were having a great time talking band, family, “Growing Kids”, laughing, etc.  And then Joni reminding me that “hey, I’m in labor over here”.

–  I remember the fetal heart beat.  That “triplet” pattern that gradually sped up & slowed down based on Joni’s contractions.  We ended up singing the “Mop & bucket Theme” from Disney’s “Scorcerer’s Apprentice”.

–  I remember squeezing my self into those scrubs.  The largest they had was 3XL.  I felt and looked like a sausage.

–  I remember Dr. Jones coming to talk to me just before he went into the OR for Joni’s C-section.  I was so scared that something was going to happen to Joni.  I told him that no matter what happened, he needed to know that Joni was the priority.  I’m crying now just thinking of it.  I hope my next band lesson is late.

And then there came Maddie, and our lives were changed forever.

Maddie is extreme and genuine in every way.  I’ve looked at this as negative sometimes, but as I process, I think that I’m thankful for it.

When she cries, it’s extreme and genuine.  It’s easy for us to know when she’s hurt, physically or emotionally.  There’s no guess work.

When she laughs, it’s extreme.  Her smile & laughter brightens a room.

When she’s sad, it’s extreme.  Again, there’s no guess work.  Given time, she’ll tell you what’s troubling her.  I’m proud of her ability to work through this stuff.  Especially when dad gets out of the way and just listens.

When she’s excited, it’s extreme and genuine.  She wears it on her sleeve.  As parents we’re still figuring out how to teach her self control without squashing her excitement.

She sees & hears everything.  She sees the first snow flake.  She hears the train before it gets to our intersection.  She sees the jets as they fly high overhead.  I’m mostly blind.  I can’t see them, so I appreciate her powers of observation.  She hears the garbage truch 2 blocks over.

I’m amazed at her growth after 1 year of school.  Mrs. Davis was the perfect teacher for her.  I wish that I had the passion for kids that Mrs. Davis has in her little finger.  Patient, kind, & firm.  All of the things that Maddie needs.

She sings like a bird, but she doesn’t want you to know it.  She’ll sing all day in her room, in the truck with the radio.  But ask her to do it by herself, and she clams up.  Just like I did when I was young.  I pray that music class in school will help bring that out of her.  It didn’t work for me.

I pray that as her dad, I can help her to find out who she is, and what her real passions are.  I want her to follow her interests and not mine.  I want her to make her own goals and work towards them.  I want her to dream bigger than I have.

I want her to be a human “being” not a human “doing”.  I want her to be who God created her to be, and to seek His will for her life.  I want her to avoid “doing” things because I’ve told her it’s the way to do things.

The night before Maddie was born, I wept bitterly at the thought of “losing” the freedom that Joni and I had shared for the first 5 years of our marriage.  Little did I know of the blessings that God bestows on parents through their children.

Thank You Lord for Maddie, and the things that You’re teaching me through her.



Filed under "Heart" issues, Kids

5 responses to “6 years ago today…..

  1. Well said dear. I’ve heard it said that God doesn’t give us kids to make them more like us. He gives us kids to make us more like Him. Yeah. That’s about right.

  2. Such a wonderful post, thank you for sharing. The awesome love and joy of being a parent is hard to put into words some times, but you did it beautifully.

    I will never forget when we met our daughter for the time and they put in my arms – we had travelled half way around the world and stood in a room filled with 9 other families waiting for their new addition, no else in the room spoke English except our translated. My Angelgirl was perfect, beautiful and my heart nearly burst with the joy and love I felt for her – and it grows every day. She just turned 11 last month – where does the time go! Lady Rose

  3. Been wandering around the blogs and found your site. Your byline is great – Dougs head – Enter at your own risk. I have 5 darlings, and they are all so special. I have been at each birth, felt the pride and joy of having each in my arms. Been away for the last week, and my youngest Esther has been pining for me, the little darling. Now she can’t let me go. All of 3 yrs old and she just has to have her Dad. Playing catch with a giraffe stuffed toy Gran just gave her, having her fall asleep in my arms while watching TV, demanding that I and no one else take her to the potty – dragging me away from the so important home office busyness…

    I have added a link to you from http://www.renewedreflections.com/forums/interesting-wls-sites/4656-fat-loss-blog.html. Any change of a blogroll for the rr forum?

  4. Chris

    I have to comment on the fact that I’m a bit envious of those feelings you were feeling. Looking back to when my baby girl was born, I cant really recall any particular feelings, except nervousness. And I dealt with that the only way I knew how. With humor. I tell ya, I could have been a stand up comedian that day. I had everyone in the room laughing. Maybe it was because I was so young, and I didnt understand what miracle was actually taking place. Maybe it was the fact that it was a relationship I wasnt exactly thrilled with and really didnt want to be in. But, one thing is for sure, that little girl is the most important thing in my life, and has given me reason to never give up. I thank God for her every day. And at my age, it is becoming a serious reality, that she will be my only one, and I will probably never experience those “labor feelings”, but I am truly thankful for all of the feelings she has given me from that point on. As far as the music classes are concerned, Maddie will come around, just as Dannielle did. Dont force her to do it, like you and I were as kids. Apparently, your music classes did something for you, because today, you are able to get up in front of the public and perform, and share the gift God blessed you with. Me on the other hand, I would rather dislocate all my fingers than to get up and perform in front of everyone. I’ll just be satisfied with singing to myself in the shower and in my truck

  5. Randy

    Hey, Doug and Joni (Chris, too!)

    It’s been a long time and I think the only time I’ve seen you two was at a recent funeral. Sorry for posting about that on your post about the remembrance of Maddie’s birth, but life is a circle, isn’t it? How is everyone? I’ve been so disconnected from the little part of Illinois that we grew up in, separately. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think of you all, though. Listen, lessons come to those willing to learn otherwise, they are just punishments leading to a glass half empty. Say hello from Virginia to the family. Emily is now 16 and seriously working on “dad” for her car. Jessica will be in High School next year and is literally right behind her. We have a family’s love as well as the dysfunction of teen years. We’re happy, though. I’d love to hear from you all.

    Love in Christ, your cousin,


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