Monday, February 28, 2011

That's okay, Daddy

If you have a four-year-old, you know what a terror the Well Child Checkup is at the four-year mark. Elijah had three vaccination shots in his legs, then they drew blood to test for lead (I mean, as if).

Meanwhile, Elijah has been in all kinds of other discomfort this week. He's losing weight because we're experimenting with his formula, trying to find something with more calories but still tolerable to his little tummy. He may or may not have strep throat (if not, then he definitely has something), and his sleep schedule is off again. So when I tell you we jabbed him with needles today, you can understand why I just wanted to scream. Instead, I cried a little.

I caressed his little head and kissed his cheeks as I held him down and watched them vaccinate him. Then, when Eli thought we were done for the day and going home, I took the elevator up, not down, to the phlebotomy lab. They couldn't find his veins in his arms, because they've never been able to, so they sliced his fingertip open with a razor and literally squeezed the required number of drops out of him. Once again, I held him tightly to my chest even as I forcably held his arm out for the technician to assault. I realized that, although I intended to whisper to Elijah, "It's okay, Daddy's here," I was actually unable to speak.

After they had enough blood, the tech put a little band-aid on Elijah's finger. With tears still streaming down his face, he perked up and said, "Oooh, I like a band-aid!" Then he looked straight at the guy and said, "Thank you for my band-aid!" Well, that did it. I just broke down in tears. The tech didn't know what to do with a grown man crying, so he just left the room without a word. Then I did the same.

In the car, Elijah said, "I'm tired, Dad." I asked if he wanted to go home, and he said, "Can we go home and sleep? I want my blue blanket." To this I responded, "Elijah, I'm sorry you got hurt back in that office." Before I could explain further, he answered in his very most chipper voice, "That's okay, Daddy." Then he sort of slumped down into his seat and said, "I still tired, Daddy."

I saw a documentary recently about how sand falling through an hourglass builds up in a cone at the bottom of the glass, until the cone collapses and it all fills up at the bottom, only to have the cone build up again. The documentary says the scientists found there's always a faultline that reaches from the center of the cone interior to the base of the cone exterior--or any sand structure, really--and although the sand is pouring through rapidly, the cone stands intact until one grain, EXACTLY one grain of sand strikes that faultline in EXACTLY the wrong spot. Out of all those grains falling together in a pouring flow, only one of the grains is responsible for the collapse.

So yeah, my sand castle shattered this morning, but the good news is, Elijah kept on going, and right away he started building the cone back up. When I tell you I don't know how he does it, I mean that literally. Even I'm amazed at what he's able to withstand, let alone accomplish, and I'm the one who's standing there every day watching him do it.

Pray for Elijah this afternoon, if you think about it. And don't forget to pray for my friend Lee Ann, whose father passed away very unexpectedly and rather quickly, just a few months before her wedding. We're simply heartbroken for her.



A Truthbrarian said...

wow. an amazing kid and an amazing dad. don't forget i'm also praying for you my friend.

Sharon Schwidder said...

What a sweet little guy you have! He is so very lucky to have you and Melissa as his parents!

Emily Kaye said...

I'm sending prayers and hugs your way. I'm so glad Eli was able to find happiness in a band-aid after such a rough time. I love you!!

robandkathy said...

This post brought tears, David...tears for little Eli, tears for you and Melissa, tears for our guys who suffered so much...tears because we miss them. Their suffering still haunts us. Rusty's life was much like Eli' much joy in spite of so much hurt. So, we can't think about our boys without tears, but the tears are always followed by laughter as we remember their joy and humor. It seems that those who suffer the most also rejoice the most over the little things...the "bandaids" that take the sting out of the hurt. Oh, for eyes to see the world as Eli sees it...the joy always wins!! Thank you for sharing your boy with us. Love in Christ, Rob and Kathy

Kristi said...

Our son has had a tumultuous 8 years, struggling with immune system issues and transfusions monthly. Every time they start his IV to get platelets and t-cells, I break down inside. But when they're done, and apologize, he just says "That's ok" to the infusion nurse (sometimes after 4-5 IV attempts). He thanks them for doing it! It amazes me. Children who have gone through these challenges are the strongest, bravest and most caring children - and one day, they will be changing the world!

Lee Ann said...

You're an amazing dad to an amazing little guy. Thanks for the prayers. We're taking things one day at a time, but we couldn't make it through this difficult time without the love and prayers of our fabulous friends.

Anonymous said...

Speechless...thanks for sharing.


Leveta said...

What a precious sweet boy you have.In the midst of his pain he is trying to comfor you "It's okay daddy" What a sweetheart!

I think of Eli often and everytime I want to give up on some task set in front of me I remember Eli and how he has fought and keeps on fighting and it encourages me to just keep on keeping on.