My husband and I bought my son, M, a shiny, new, red Radio Flyer tricycle…when he was just two months old. And, of course, my husband assembled it right away. My son is now 21 months old. We recently brought the tricycle down from the attic. He enjoys sitting on it and pushing it around, but he doesn’t have the hang of pedaling yet. Yes, we realize we are a little crazy.
But this doesn’t stop at tricycles. My son sat on Santa’s lap when he was just 15 days old. In his first year, M attended his first hockey game and his first baseball game. He was so young for the baseball game that the crowd’s cheering bothered him. He seemed kind of oblivious to the hockey game. M rode a carousel–twice.
By the time M turned 18 months, he had had two rides on a real full-size train. He also had been on his first vacation, to a family event in North Carolina. Not yet two, he has now also racked up his first penny pony ride at Meijer, and seen life-size animatronic dinosaurs. M has ridden a Ferris Wheel. He has seen a full-size Thomas the tank engine, racking up yet another real train ride. He must just think that kids get to ride trains all the time. I think I was in middle school before I ever got to ride on a full-size train. There are probably some people who go their whole lives never riding one. (I like trains, can you tell? Random Fact: Also, lighthouses.)
To top it all off, M has already had his first flight. And not on a commercial airline or for vacation. We had an opportunity at a local festival to go up in a four seater Cessna and fly over our own house. M wasn’t scared at all. In fact, he fell asleep. (In case anyone cares, I got a little nauseous.)
I just wonder if this is normal behavior for parents. My asbestos fiend has a boy six months younger than M. She doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to have him participate in life events before he is old enough to appreciate them, as we do. But then again, this is her second child. I don’t know how she felt with her first child. My asbestos friend lived clear across the country when her first was born.
Are we so eager because we are first time parents? Or is it because my son was born with an issue with his urinary system that required surgery at 6 months of age? Surgery that had complications. I know I really felt the rush to “hurry up” and “make experiences” with M while he was laying in the Pediatric ICU. My husband wanted to get a family portrait done as soon as M was born. I put him off and told him we would do it for Christmas, for our Christmas cards. Sitting in the hospital with my son, all I could think was that if he died before we got a family picture taken, my husband would never forgive me.
We got the picture taken on my son’s first birthday.
On television shows and in movies, the new mother always gazes down lovingly at her newborn child. I was not that mother. I found that I could not even let my heart fully love my son til he was almost a year old. It was a mechanism I used to guard myself, in case he should die from his medical issues or from the complications a surgery could bring. (Morbid, I know. And it hurts my heart to write it now. And it hurt my heart to live all this.)
M has a follow-up appointment on Wednesday. It makes my chest tight just to think about it. Our last appointment brought good news. I don’t know how to ask the universe or pray to God or beg and plead for more good news. I can’t handle a nephro tube or surgery again. I can’t. And my boy wants to put that all behind him and play with his Cozy Coupe and Thomas Wooden Railway (“toot-toot” he says). Please, everyone put in a good thought for him. And I will in return wish that you all get a moment to yourself to enjoy an ice cream.
What will be the next life experience we rush my son into before he turns three? Run for President of the United States? Trip to the moon?
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