Seventy-four days after open heart surgery I did my first somersault. Almost without thinking. I was in the living room playing with my daughter, trying to help her straighten out her own sideways version when she said, “you show me daddy”. And I did. Nothing cracked, no shooting pain through my chest, just a dizzy feeling as I sat up and wondered if that was such a good idea. Morgan’s laughter and her eager attempt to do what daddy had just illustrated to perfection proved to be more welcome than any thoughts of my sternum splitting apart. The fact I was not rolling around in pain made it perfectly obvious that I should do another and with just the slightest bit of encouragement I did. “Again daddy”. A couple of times! Besides, I remember Anita, my cardiac surgery nurse practitioner at UCLA, telling me that if I did do something to my breastbone during recovery I would definitely know about it. Tonight I’m no worse for wear and I am thankful for being able to notch another first into the post surgery totem pole with the added bonus of doing so as my little one notched her own first.
The first time I slept on my side, rolled over or drove a car will forever be notches on the recovery calendar but these past few days with my kids have been pretty special. It is true, at least in the case of being away from them, that absence makes the heart grow fonder but it is also true that it amplifies the changes that are often missed from day to day making it easy to recognize them as milestones. It’s also true that they (kids) grow up really fast and the lost time makes the time with them that much more special.
The first time I watched Morgan get dressed by herself from start to finish was pretty cool. Now, for daddy, her going to the potty means nothing more than wiping her bum as she insists and is quite capable of doing everything else. If you’re a parent you know how cool that is in a weird sort of way (I mean it is still wiping a bum)! She’s now taken to her favorite game of asking what letter everything within sight starts with. “What letter does toilet paper start with daddy”? Wall, sink, towel?….. Now the most amazing thing is watching her “read” ABC books to her little brother. At 33 months she’s had these book as long as she’s been alive and to see the transformation from 4 months ago is mind blowing. When we left for LA we were amazed at how she could say all the words in each book, sometimes without seeing the individual picture. Now she spells the words out and exaggerates the pronunciation for her 10-month-old sibling as part of their bedtime routine. Again how cool is that!
He on the other hand is almost walking. I feel like I’ve missed a lot of the crawling stage and given how fast he motors around on all fours that might be considered a good thing. He’s going to be a handful as soon as he gets his balance. Yesterday I had the opportunity to hang out at home alone with him for the first time in a long time. Being his 10-month anniversary that meant photo time. He’s a happy kid; honestly never unhappy although starting to get a little assertive when he wants something. And if I do say so myself, pretty darn cute!
Over the past week I haven’t blogged. Bottom line is that upon returning to Saipan and hitting a brick wall so to speak I decided the best course of action was to slow down a little bit, take time to settle in and not beat myself up over not getting more done or worrying about much of anything other than the most pressing of issues and my kids.
It was a good call!
Now it’s time to go to bed because the 2008 Saipan Rotary Golf Tournament starts tomorrow at 6AM – Lau Lau Bay West Course.
I’m taking pictures although I feel like I could do some chipping, couldn’t be any harder on the sternum than a somersault!