Sunday, August 26, 2012

Child Is Father to the Man

An almost funny but very true story on fatherhood, twice, for me. When each of our children was born, I was present in the delivery room if for no other reason than to give Sigrid some place to focus her anger at the (at times) very severe pain of childbirth.

Based on my threshold of pain, tolerance of suffering and the massive amounts of both that seem to be involved in the delivery of children, I'd offer that if men could get pregnant, epidurals would be on the house (we can save the discussion about yet another sacrament for another time, Representative Akin).

While I was counting fingers and toes and eyes and ears in the moments after birth, the midwife and her staff were doing what they could to assure themselves and the new parents that all the interior contents were as they should be. Not speaking only for me, that's one of those really scary moments in being a parent and there are few instances where you can do so little to protect your child.

In my family it seems like only yesterday we brought each of our two home from the hospital (they kept that new baby smell for a really long time, much to my delight) but in reality with Patrick, it's been over thirty years and with Michelle, not that many (or they'd be twins) but still a bunch.

Point in fact, this afternoon as one of our Daughter/Father outings we're catching a Connecticut Suns basketball game. I haven't been to an NBA game in decades, if ever at all, so maybe they do causes as well at their home games (and then I look at Kobe, Blake and Lebron and shake my head and say "nah, I don't think so") but this afternoon the Sun want their fans to make a special effort to wear blue to highlight awareness of autism.

I didn't spend enough time in Dad School to get really good at loving my two extraordinary children and I'm grateful for how they've turned out despite my contribution to the gene pool and role in establishing their home environment. I have a colleague at work with an autistic child and you have to have almost as much love as there is in the world with a child with special needs like that.

I came across an eye-opening (for me) article earlier in the week on a new path of exploration for those looking into causality of autism and as someone who waited a long time to father children it came home and hurt as I worked my way through it. I'll be wearing blue this afternoon for all those whose worlds don't have quite as many cheery and cheering colors for them to enjoy.
-bill kenny

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