Sunday, October 26, 2014

Caleb

Tonight I sat by the bed of my sleeping angel and put my finger in his hand, just like I did when he was a baby.  Only then, I wasn't at liberty to pick him up and hold him because he was too fragile, too unstable, or needed to preserve his energy to grow and learn how to eat.  Today I watched him go down a big slide on a potato sack all by himself.  Once he made it to the bottom, he immediately hopped up and came to me with a quivering lower lip and said, "I didn't like that at all.  I don't want to do that again."  And I held him in my arms, just as I wished I could all day long during those first three months.

As I sat by his bed, I watched him breathe.  It came so easily tonight, unlike his first few weeks.  I remember watching him struggle for breath at a few days old, just wishing the doctors would put him back on the ventilator so he could rest.  I was moved to tears, seeing my tiny baby struggle so much to do life's most basic function.  I wished life could be easy for him.

Tonight, as I sat by his side, I listened to the feeding pump churning away...just as I did almost five years ago.  He's still working on life's second most basic function (eating).  And that's ok.  Medical intervention kept him alive then, and it does so now.  I could never hate it.

As I looked at how much smaller my finger looks in his big preschooler hand, I noticed that it's slightly callused, unlike when he was born with skin as thin as paper.  I remembered my very first interaction with him--I stroked his leg, because I didn't know any other way to let him know I was there.  The nurse told me that it was overwhelming and even painful for tiny preemies to be stroked like that, and to provide firm pressure instead of movement.  Who knew I was touching my newborn baby wrong the very first moment I met him?  In the days that followed, he developed two scars from the monitor leads.  They were attached to machines and run by electricity, and even the imperceptible amount of heat they generated burned his delicate skin.  He still wears the scars today.

Tonight, I soaked him all in.  And I thanked God for the priceless memories of those first three months, and for every day since.

3 comments:

Megan T said...

So sweet. What tender words. What a handsome blessing he is!

Janet P. said...

Tender tribute for a sweet boy!

Chris and Linnea Lindstrom said...

Such beautiful words, from a beautiful heart.