Friday, September 8, 2017

In the Eye of the Storm

  The day the doctors scheduled Keegan's C-section was probably in my opinion the worst possible day in history for him to be born.  It was our other son, Rory's first day of preschool, and so we were worried about how that would go without us being there right away after school to pick him up.  On top of that, it was kind of a crazy time to be out of work because school had just started and this was the second day of the first full week of school.  Unless you're a teacher you might not know that setting your super strict expectations at the beginning of the year is vital.  As you might imagine, I was envisioning my kids tying the sub to a chair and painting the walls red.  I have a good team though, and they'd informed me plenty that they had my back and they'd sit on my kids if they didn't behave. 
  And although there were so many things going on completely overwhelming me.  The day Keegan was born was nothing short of amazing!  It was sunny and beautiful, a typical 97 degree Florida August day.  The palm trees blew gently in the humid breeze outside the hospital windows, and Keegan came into this world like a calming presence.  It's super ironic of course, because everyone that has had a child or has spent ten minutes around a newborn knows how demanding of time and attention they are.  But this precious little guy is very content in all things he does or experiences.  He even sleeps most of the night which is just crazy, but so, so very nice.

  In just these 3 short weeks since he's been born, he's been such a blessing to our family.  Rory is completely enamored with him and I haven't spotted one ounce of jealousy.  This was
always a fear of mine that Rory would feel threatened that there was a new family member, but no.   He truly cannot get enough of his brother.  I also want to thank our Anna and family for everything they have done for the past four years in caring for Rory and also prepping him for our new family member.  We couldn't survive in Florida without you guys!

  And we were doing so well too with balancing the transition between starting a new school year (no one needed to sit on any kids by the way, because I'm sure you were wondering), and introducing Keegan into our changing family dynamic.  And then just as one Grammy flew back home a few days early and another grandma, Mimi came to visit, we heard about Hurricane Irma coming to Florida. 

  At first I figured it would be okay.  We'd stayed last year for Hurricane Matthew and it was fine, but as the storm grew closer and more and more unpredictable, it just didn't seem wise for us to stay with our two little babies.  We sure did debate though.  Do you stay and hope the storm isn't too bad?  Do you flee and risk running out of gas halfway to your destination?  How can we deal with a newborn in a flood or sitting in traffic for hours upon hours?   They are all impossible choices.  Especially if you're making them alone, so we prayed about it for days and we decided in the end God was telling us to go.  Where?  We weren't sure yet.  Not until Kim's sister called and told us we should come stay with her.

  And so after school we packed up, walked through the house praying that God would protect our home, our city and our state.  That he would protect the people here from what is predicted to be a catastrophic hurricane.  That he would sway the storm back to the ocean.  (Or as Rory was saying - that the sharks would eat the storm in their bellies.)

  It felt so surreal evacuating a place that has been my home for so long.  I said goodbye, and maybe I'm dramatic, but it took me back to a time in my past where I had to escape from my home quickly, leaving almost all of my belongings behind, knowing I'd never see it or them again.  And just like before, it's not the things that you'll miss.  Things are just things.  It's the memories you made there.  The feeling of having to leave a place, not knowing if you'll see it again is very unsettling.

And as we were leaving town with my mom, my dog, the four year old, the three week old and my wife, the lines of traffic already forming, we prayed for safety for us and our town.  And as soon as we said amen, we saw the biggest rainbow I've ever seen behind me in the gray sky.  And I just knew it was God saying that he was going to be with us and keep us safe.  I don't know the big plan here, I probably never will, but God will be faithful.  He always is.  I don't know how that will look or what that will mean for our state but as I've experienced many times in my life.  He is smarter than I am.  His ways often are too far over my head to comprehend.  I just try to wait and listen for some directive.  And I got it.  To go.  Others in town heard theirs too.  To stay.  So I don't know.  I just pray that everyone stays safe and after everything clears we can continue on.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Adventure Continues

I remember having the idea for this blog four years ago when we were endlessly waiting through an uncomfortably hot summer for our little baby boy to make his grand August appearance.  As teachers, there isn't a lot going on at that time and we figured writing about our adventures would be a great way to pass those endless five weeks.  Plus, all of our family was so far away that it was a small way to let them be involved in our daily life.  The blog was an instant hit with family and friends and I kept it going strong throughout the first year of Rory's life.  I thought I might publish it one day so Rory could always look back at his zany parent's take on the first year of his life.

But, as all parents know, when that sweet little infant starts transitioning into toddlerhood, fatigue and straight up exhaustion take over.  The blog suffered because of it, but my life couldn't be any fuller.  I mean, there's way more messes, and tantrums. (Kim and Rory) There's also so much laughter and happiness, how can you even describe it?  Possibly only in a delirious state.  Sure, I'm always tired and sticky and not allowed to poop by myself, but I sincerely love being a father and can't think of a more important or rewarding job.

I personally never understood how fully capable I could be to truly love some one else.  Not when like many, my childhood was stained with trauma.  But then there's the moment when you actually become a father and you see your beautiful child and your life is instantly different... those things that hold you back, those traumas, they  have to be put to rest.  How could anything in this world ever be more important to hold on to than that tiny little human?   Fatherhood for me is brilliant and amazing but also a metamorphosis.  Healing and transforming.          

And so, here we are again, as the end of our school year approaches and my wife and I find ourselves expecting another little boy in August, I thought perhaps I'd brush the dust off the ole keyboard and start writing again.  Lord knows, we're not doing much or going very far with a pregnant woman in her last trimester.  There's also the fact that the blog entries will get even funnier this time around, what with my natural wit, and all of the comedic gold that spews from an almost four year old's mouth at any given moment.  Already Rory wonders if  he can teach "our baby" how to crawl and he even tells our babysitter that she needs to teach him how to change diapers so he can be prepared for his baby brother.

Here's to life never being the same again.  Can't wait to continue the adventure.