Day 2: Heart-wrenching Transitions
When Alexa and I first discovered that Gideon had craniosynostosis, we knew we were in on a journey. While we are not adventurers in the tradition of Lewis and Clark, Alexa and I have driven to places we've never been before. So we have experience. We've traveled all the way from Dallas, TX by car. In this trip I overcame my fear of getting stopped in the wrong part of any town south of the Mason Dixon line and have a cop ask me "Ya nat from around her boy are ya?" A few years ago we traveled from Fair Lawn, NJ to Port St. Lucie, Florida where I drove through two torrential rainstorms of two former hurricanes. During this trip, I experienced my fear of tornados first hand. Recently, I rediscovered a disability I had long forgotten when I threw up on a boat off the rocky coast of Maine.
Throughout the years we've taken many impulsive adventures across the Eastern US singing to a variety of music from gospel choir music, to Prince, to Aretha, to Red Hot Chili Peppers and more. Good times. Good times.
Now we are part of new journey we never imagined. The past two days have been heart wrenching to say the least. I remembered his beautiful smile when they took him away from us. As the nurse walked away, his smile blurred, like a mountain scene in a Renaissance painting. After surgery, when I saw him wrapped with the bandage my initial reaction was mixed - one of joy because he made it through the surgery just fine like we knew he would, but also of sadness. You see, I remembered the smile on his face when they took him away and was hit the reality of his innocence. He was smiling because he had no idea what was going to happen. He didn't know he was going to be forced to sleep by a plastic mask held by strangers. He didn't know he was going to be cut open. He had no clue as to what he was in for.
And, at the moment of seeing him all bandaged up and remembering his cute smile, my heart sobbed because I let it all happen to him.
I know that emotions can get the best of anyone and they surely got the best of me. I was overcome by a father's unique instinct that compels him to protect, protect and protect his family by any means necessary. And because I felt that I couldn’t protect him from this difficult episode in his life, I became downtrodden for a brief moment.
But, I know it had to be done and he will be better off. Thank God he was in the prayers of so many people across many states and countries that love him and that he was placed in the hands of caring professionals.