at first glance, there does not seem to be many connections between parenting and say osama bin laden. i mean, sure, at times the high pitched whale-like whine of a 15 month old may be classified as torture, but that doesn't mean you are going to shock and awe them with military muscle. recently, however, i have realized that both lead to a heightened sense of awareness. like a constant amber alert, i have become far more keen to certain things in our world simply by my association with isaac:
things that fly. the mystery of flight constantly intrigues my son, be it birds, planes, or even the moon (i know, technically the moon doesn't "fly", but it is visible in the sky and that is fair enough). any one of these things will instantly grab his attention, and typically keep it for as long as it is visible. now i often find my eyes tracking with these things when i catch them out of the corner of my eye.
noises. whether the ones associated with the aforementioned flying things, or the squawks and screams that come over the baby monitor, i seem to have developed go-go-gadget ears, often hearing things that aren't even there. perhaps i will find i am like that guy in a beautiful mind, and discover that any comments that have ever appeared on this blog are actually by my own hand.
a complete lack of control. both of annie's pregnancies have been very lucid reminders that i am powerless in the ultimate sense . by far the scariest part of our trip to the hospital two weeks ago was when they were hooking annie up to the monitor and it took them about a minute to find ryder's heartbeat (a task that usually takes about 5 seconds). annie had recently felt him move, so she was not concerned, but i was not privy to that information, so i stood there realizing that there is absolutely nothing i could do to make my son's heart beat. sure, i could pray desperate prayers, but as i heard ben patterson comment several months ago, "prayer is not black magic". just cause we ask for something doesn't mean it we will get it. when it comes to plans of the Divine variety, there is either submission or rebellion, but never control.
during this season of gratitude, we are acutely aware of our reasons to give thanks, as we are continually and currently infested with people who care about our family. not a disgusting type of infestation where we are going to start swatting things with rolled up newspapers before calling pest control, but the good kind where we are overrun at every turn with meals and company and support. hopefully soon i will be able to leave my shoes on when going through the metal detectors at the airport.
saturday started well. isaac was hamming it up in daddy's sunglasses...
and later that afternoon we went to a first birthday party for his cousin avery.
there were many gifts...
and many trips down the slide. this one is a king sized slide, much bigger than the one on our back porch that he is used to. he was very proud of his performance.
saturday night, things took a decidedly more dramatic turn, as annie experienced some strong pain and contractions, and we ended up in labor and delivery for a couple hours of monitoring.
fortunately things were not entirely as serious as they could have been, so we returned home to strict bed rest for one of us, and a heavy dose of baby preparatory cleaning for the other.
after we moved the television upstairs so annie could watch it, isaac and i took a break to watch something or another.
auntie allie came over to play, taking isaac's hiding place, which he was not a fan of.
tonight, grammy came over with dinner and playtime.
this whole situation is a truly minor emergency. long term we are well aware of the fact that this too shall pass, and that instead of annie being on modified bed rest (which pretty much means that she spends most of the time on her back, save meals and other necessities) we could have a newborn in the nicu or worse. in the short term, however, it puts a serious cramp in our style, essentially having to find isaac coverage for the time when i am at work. fortunately for us we a tremendous amount of support from family and friends, a couple weeks of meals already scheduled, and a insatiable thirst for irony.
this whole pregnancy, i have been waiting for the other shoe to drop. isaac's process was so full of drama and potentially bad news, it was really hard to believe that there was nothing wrong with ryder. and there is nothing wrong with ryder, he is healthy and moving all over the place, yet this weekend seemed to sound the proverbial thud, proving once and for all that life is never normal around here, but at least it keeps things interesting. we still are not entirely sure what's wrong, but the doctors are taking it very seriously, thus the bed rest.
by far the toughest part of this whole thing is watching my wife be confined to the couch, unable to go walking with friends or even actively engage in our son's playtime that she so desperately loves. i mean, take somebody that loves to be social and on the move, then tell her to spend most of her day semi-alone and sedentary. it bloody sucks.
on the sunny side, isaac is walking all over the place, picking up speed daily, i think next week he is learning the triple jump. we had his 15 month check up today, he is still in the 75th percentile for height and weight (31 and a half inches and 26 pounds and 9 ounces respectively) and 90th percentile for head circumference. lots to celebrate, and at the same time we would covet your prayers.
"see, i don't need your pumpkin, i 've got my own!"
halloween was a hoot. some drunken trick-or-treating pirate called isaac his matey. seriously.
celebrating julie's 30th birthday. both annie and julie are expecting boys about a month and a half apart...ryder in december, bradley in february.
grantie watched isaac all weekend while mom was at homecoming and dad was at foho
hamming it up for the camera
i say dumb things. sometimes i say them on accident, but sometimes i know it beforehand. here is one you can see coming from a mile away: parenting is downright fatiguing. to say that while my wife is seven and a half months pregnant and does more than i do in any given day borders on asinine, but i am wiped out. i went to a retreat this weekend, and almost everybody who saw me said, "man, you look tired." awesome.
isaac has a tremendous amount of life, which is seriously rad, and at the same time it takes an enormous expense of energy to keep him pointed in the right direction. sometimes i just wish he would slow down, not put everything he comes in contact with straight into his mouth, and sleep for like a week straight. i am a ridiculously self focused person as it is, but i think i am beginning to understand how, without some fierce intentionality, life at this stage becomes very small and completely consumed by truly insignificant and selfish concerns. speaking of which, i need to get back to watching this wsop rerun.