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.