One of the worst things you can experience as a parent is not being there for your child when he needs you. While consumed by the OCD madness that is the Black Hawk helicopter parenting of an infant, it is quite easy to forget what it is like when you and your child are separated. All those moments of shopping (for him, not us), prepping, feeding, changing, Disney-esque facial contortions, nonsensical jibberish-speak (by parents with graduate degrees, imagine that) filling the here and now made those few days watching him in the NICU after he was born a distant memory. Why worry about what you cannot do for your child while you are actually doing everything for him?
Currently my wife and son are in Korea, spending an extended time with her parents. The best moment of every day--seeing the flash of recognition in my baby's eyes before he smiles at me--is quickly followed by the worst, when I cannot return that affection by picking him up and smashing his cheek with a kiss. My heart breaks when I see him reach out for his father, only to find a cold, artificial iPad in his grasp. It is in these moments that I am wrenched back to the NICU, being able to watch him, to tell him that I love him, assure him that his daddy is here but rendered unable to do anything beyond that.
The space between you and your child--whether physical or wrought through disagreement--will always be too large, too deep and too wide.
As parents we always want to be there for our children, but sooner or later there will come the day when we cannot. We have to let go, not of our love, but of our ability to be the same mothers and fathers we were when they were precious newborns.
One day he will go off to college. One day he will get married and have a family of his own. One day his physical and intellectual strength will surpass my own and he will no longer need me to care for him. And, finally, one day I will die and the only care I provide for him that will continue will be that which has already been embedded in his heart. My love will be the only lesson that remains.
And it is that very last thing which gives me hope and comfort. For while love endures, all else shall pass, all else shall fade into inconsequence and all else shall not cross over to the other side. Letting go does not mean I am going anywhere but here.
I miss you, my son. Daddy will always be here for you, even when my time on this earth has come to an end.
When I first started Xanga a common saying was that Xanga is cheaper than therapy. It's a great place to work through our psychopathology (it was actually fun for me to diagnose a lot of personality disorders years back through my subscriptions), but when life takes a turn for the better, Xanga activity tends to take a huge nosedive.
I guess that's true, at least for me. See below for my excuse.
I worry about my son's safety. My wife and I often talk about our hopes for our son and above all, I wish that he will have a long life free of illness. I would choose an average-in-the-eyes-of-the-world son with a long healthy life over having a brilliant prodigy who dies decades too soon every day of the week and twice on Sunday. And as any parent, I worry about my child.
When I look back at my life, I am oft to tell my wife that I am amazed that I have managed to get this far without any major injuries. When I was elementary school age I used to climb up and jump off the roof of my house for fun with nary an injury. I used to chase after footballs/baseballs/basketballs into the street without looking both ways for oncoming traffic. As a teenager with poor swimming skills I ventured into the Hawaiian ocean on numerous occasions and ironically my two near drowning episodes happened in the pool, once with a friend and another during swimming lessons.
We can control--to some extent--our own actions born of stupidity or naivete, but we cannot control the world around us. Or its evil.
What if the 9/11 terrorists delayed their attack by several months? I was flying in and out of NYC and Boston for interviews that December. I used to live in Portland and have been by that mall in Oregon where the shooting took place this week. What if my parents didn't move us Connecticut to Hawaii as children? Could I have had a child attending that school today that will be forever stained with a murderer's blood?
As a physician I can control my own actions when it comes to my patients. I know that I can do the best job that I can, but the rest is ultimately up to chance and providence. As a parent, I have come to accept that I can do my best to protect my son but I cannot control the world, neither will I be here forever to shield him come what may. I have to leave the rest up to chance and providence.
But I can control how I love him. My protection cannot remain after I am gone, but my love can. The barriers I place between him and world will crumble after I am gone but my love will still be there to keep him warm, a love that passed from my father's father to him, from my father to me, and now from myself to my son.
The only thing stronger than mankind's propensity for evil is the redeeming hope that comes from love, even in our darkest days, for while evil can be remembered in perpetuity, it does not and cannot endure in immortality.
Big Trouble in Little China is my fave movie of all time, so when this guy made a parody of Ganganm Style with BTILC I almost died. Especially when the haole guy deadpanned Jack Burton perfectly. And to top it off...homeboy who created this is originally from Hawaii. IMUA!
Like I told @jigg, the emasculation of the married man is now complete since momaroo decided to post my stuff (twice). Maybe I'll write about the pros and cons of bottle feeding next. Ha! Just kidding...thanks for the aloha, momaroo!