Monday, May 2, 2016

Parenthood: Week 150 – The Dedication-Part 2

I watched to make sure the needle of my speedometer didn’t go too far over the limit as I raced home. Something inside of me felt an urgency to see my son, to confirm that he was home and that we was in fact okay.

It wasn’t that I was worried about Ollie’s well being, but my heart needed some kind of affirmation, something to balance the feelings I felt from the dedication, the deep love but also the deep sorrow from talking to a father who had lost his son.

It’s not that I had an empathy gap between myself and other parents before Ollie was born. But the reality is that even with the most open hearts, empathy can only go so far. There are feelings that I cannot explain and I do not understand completely that have experienced only after becoming a father.

It was always unimaginable for me to fathom the idea of being a father who has to bury his son, but now as a father, this incomprehensible situation is accompanied by a frightening coldness in my heart. You can’t walk this back once it hits you. All you can do is steer into the feeling, find comfort in your loved ones and remind yourself that the dark feelings are only there because of the love in your life.

When I got home, I greeted Diana and Buffy, put my work stuff to the side and ran up to Ollie’s room. Most of the time when I come home late, I do my best to not bother Ollie. Sometimes it’s not worth waking up Ollie just to say goodnight but tonight I didn’t hesitate. I carefully climbed into his crib and lay there next to him face to face, feeling his soft breath against my face.

As I watched my son sleep, I started feeling calm and centered. The uncertainty of the future didn’t scare me. Because knew in that moment that everything was right. That was enough.

Diana came in after some time, and I managed to get out of Ollie’s crib without waking Ollie up. We both stood there looking at our son and then Diana took my hand and led me out of his room.

I’m really glad that I went to the dedication. It was important for me as a teacher to be there but it was also important for me to go as a father.  Sometimes the stories of parenthood are hard to hear, but these feelings of discomfort bring us closer together in understanding and binding us together as parents.

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