SAL-VA-TION: by grace

E-LEV-EN: children from 1984 to 2006

HOME-SCHOOL-ING: since 1990

DOWN-SYN-DROME: susie and gabe

GRAND-CHILD-REN: since 2010

FAITH-FUL-NESS: my steadfast rock, my biggest supporter, my leader, my friend, my love, my husband

Saturday, June 28, 2014

What Makes a Son a Son

Twenty-eight years ago I was questioning whether or not the baby in my arms was mine. At about 9:00 pm the previous evening I'd given birth to our second son. In my journal I wrote,
Welcome to the White family Baby Keith. In 8 minutes you'll be 1 day old. It's been a good day for both of us--one of rest. Yesterday we worked. About yesterday...I woke up at 3 a.m. feeling contractions that I was pretty sure would lead to delivery. It was a hot night, the low was in the 70s (high during the day--90s) and the bedroom fan didn't keep me from sweating. I tried to rest, walked around some, played solitaire for awhile and called in at 5 a.m. to report my 5-6 minute contractions. Kathy L. was the CNM on call and she said to come on in. I could have waited but I couldn't resist the thought of an air-conditioned hospital!

I went in to wake Keith up--it turned out to be a lot harder than I expected. I shook him a little and he looked at me with a very startled expression. When I asked if he was ready to take me to the hospital he suddenly rolled over on his stomach clutching his back with one hand. I thought he had a cramp or pain and I tried to rub it, but he said it didn't hurt. When I asked what was wrong he just got exasperated and asked, "Can you tell where it's connected?" The more I asked what he was talking about, the more annoyed he got with me. I figured he wasn't fully awake; but, when I told him that he just got madder. Finally, he asked me, "Can you see where the hose is connected?" and I knew he was not truly awake. I told him I was going to turn on the light and get dressed.

That, I did, and when I was ready to go I aroused him again--successfully. He looked at me funny and I asked, "Are you ready to go to the hospital?" He looked at me, jumped to see the time, and said, "Really?!"

Well, we left Marty with Joey and headed out at 5:30 on a beautiful morning. I registered while Keith parked, he forgot my suitcase and had to return and we ended up riding up the elevator with Kathy. ......contactions never got closer than 5 minutes apart or lasted over 1 minute (nice and tolerable).....

I saw him as soon as he was out, and saw for myself that he was a "he". Margaret (new CNM) said, "It looks like your Daddy was right." Keith was sure he'd be a boy..........

Keith left at 11:00 with our baby still nameless. He said I could choose. We needed to sleep on it--our choices were Keith Byron, Jr, Chad Daniel, and Casey Brandon. I decided on Keith, Jr. I always thought I'd waid to see if we had a #4 son, but I didn't want to wait. This, too, was the closest I've ever been to Keith and after our day and everything I wanted this baby to have his name. Keith Byron White, Jr June 27, 1986 8:58 pm 8lbs 15 oz 22 1/4"

What I didn't write down was that 1) I had the name Keith in the back of my head, but not on any list we discussed. Keith Sr expected our baby to be named Chad or Casey. And 2) Baby Keith went to the nursery at 11:00 to get cleaned up and I went to sleep. When they brought him to me to feed him the next morning (which didn't make any difference to him, he wouldn't wake up for anything for 24 hours!)I took one look at him and said, "That's not my baby. My baby was uglier." Well, our bands matched and he was the right size and they convinced me that he just looked better after getting cleaned up. It bothered me for awhile and we joked about it years later when Keith came home from a biology class and announced he'd tested his blood and it was AB+. Back in 1986, they still did a blood test on newborns and I knew he was really A+ like both of his parents. The bottom line is, the class test was faulty and he really is A+ and it's pretty undeniable that he's our son. But, even if he'd turned out to actually have AB+ we agreed that we wouldn't do anything about it. We really felt that he's our son because we love him, more than because we have matching blood types.

You never know what to expect when a baby is born. And when that baby is born healthy you have no cause for alarm or dashed hopes and expectations. Everything seems perfect. Of course, it never is. We lived through some sleepless nights, 6 months of trying to diagnose a dairy intolerance, a broken leg--a broken arm--and a concussion all before age 4 caused by jumping off of things, an irrational fear of worms that morphed into the fear of anything that looked like worms including shoe laces and anything living that wasn't human, and some more typical trials that just come with the territory of parenting. However, we also got to enjoy all the blessings of this boy, including--his contemplative mind, his competitive spark, his acute observation and empathy for someone in need, his uncanny math brilliance, his management skills (personal and work), his self-discipline, his love of fishing (once he got past the worm thing), and now his beautiful wife and adorable children.

These things, the good and the bad and living them together is what makes him our son.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Wishful Thinking

Breakfast is light this morning as we're planning a big lunch out. Gabe resigned himself to sitting down with a bowl of cereal, but his prayer was,
Heavenly Father, thank you for the eggs and sausage. Amen