Stay-at-Home Parents

I guess today I’ve got a little ode to or a little shoutout to stay-at-home parents. I am not one myself but I know that being one has got to be incredibly tough.

I once found myself a part-time stay at home dad when we were still living in Vancouver, Washington and I worked full-time, four days a week, and Kayleigh worked full-time, three days a week. So I spent three full days with Emmy, from like 7am to 9pm, just the two of us, kickin’ it. Keep in mind, Kayleigh was doing it four days, from 9am to 10pm or later. This is all after she already had to (as if she minded) stay at home for something like seven weeks after Emmy was born for her maternity leave, which was unpaid, by the way.

I’ve got to say, in the months that I did the whole all-day parenting thing—it was hard, like, it whooped my ass. I’m surprised we both even made it back then, like, we’re both here and in one piece and I think that’s impressive. But I did have really hard days being with Emmy all by myself, and I mean ALL by myself. We lived in the PNW all alone, with no family near or anything. Okay, so Kayleigh’s cousin Tiffany lived in downtown Portland but she’s a doctor and we rarely saw her so that doesn’t count. And yes, she did have a great aunt and uncle that lived at the coast 2.5 hours away, but hey, they lived on the coast, 2.5 hours away…

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Hockey Practice

This post has nothing at all to do with Emerson or parenting… it’s just an essay I wrote back in college… a few weeks ago… I’m dumb.

Chop, chop, chop, faster and faster—the sound of hockey skates carving through newly resurfaced ice like the sharp, metallic scrape of the sharpening of a knife in a hectic kitchen. I’m at another predawn hockey practice, exhausting yet comforting, like curling up with a tantalizing mystery novel on a cold winter night. The hum of the electricity surging through the vacant arena is reminiscent of early-morning summer days, a distant lawnmower droning—striking in the stillness at first light. I look all around me and see the faces of my friends, my family, my team. We are here to better ourselves—all for one, and one for all.

We skate hard; we have to, which is understandable as we’re supposed to be the best of the best, the top of our division. I catch my breath between drills and breathe in the soft, crisp bite of the ice below my feet. The acoustics in the empty rink are incredible; the echoes amplified by the absence of sound-absorbing bodies.

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An Attempted Translation of Sophisticated and Hardly Describable Emotions

My Dearest Emerson,

Today is not your first Valentine’s Day, but the second; this is not your first year on this Earth anymore, but year number two, and I have to tell you, kid, I don’t know what I would do without you. You are my heart, my soul, my reason for breathing, for pushing, for changing. You are helping me take shape in a way I cannot explain—I am becoming a man that I was not before, becoming a person who wants to, who can, who will succeed, for you.

You, my baby, are my inspiration, my muse, my eternal devotion, and my tiniest of friends. Your love means to me something that I could never put into words—thus I do not know why I am attempting to do just so. I think it’s because I want you to have this, to look at, to reflect on, and to see just how much you meant to me, once upon a time. I hope that when you read this in the coming years you look to me and you know that I love you even more then. More than I can express that I do now, in 2018, while you’re still just an itty-bitty toddler, running around in your diaper, screaming, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” at the top of your lungs in excitement.

Emmy, you hold the key to everything that is me. My success, my failure, my drive, my passions, my life—they all hinge on you. You see, when you came into this world, something inside me changed. I felt a shift at the very first moment I saw your beautiful face, the instant I heard your incredibly precious cry, the nanosecond that I first got to hold you after you were birthed into this world from your mother—in that moment I knew that something was different. At that time I felt that something had changed inside of me, forever.

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Unplugged

Ahem.

Here’s a little story about an umbilical cord situation. Don’t know what I mean by that? Get to reading then, silly!

fetus-1788082_960_720

Are we ready for some more blood? Not nearly as much as in the last post—the bloody, gory, unexpected c-section—but just a little. I foresee lots blood, booboo’s, butts, and beers* (just kidding) in my future considering I now have a small child to care for—a tiny, uncoordinated, little drunk of a child—so you’re going to have to bear with me from here on out.

It was approximately six days after Emmy was born; my mother, sister, her boyfriend, and my brother were still in town, as were Kayleigh’s mother and stepfather. So, Emerson and I were in the living room, everyone else was kinda just dilly-dallying around, probably bored out of their minds because it was raining outside and we couldn’t really take a new baby anywhere. I’m sure they were eating and talking away as well because my family be hungry and they never shut up. I love you guys.

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The Good, the Bad, and the Bloody: The Final Chapter

Where we are: the home stretch and almost with a baby in hand.

Warning: this is the graphic one, the final piece of the parental puzzle, the blood, guts, and gore of the story. Prepare yourself.

blood and guts

Resuming in 3…2…1…

So there we were, sitting stunned at the words that the doctor had just muttered. C-section? Why? How? I wanted to ask if we maybe hadn’t tried something, had forgotten a special way to get a baby out when they seem to be being stubborn. I knew the answer, though. I knew that it shouldn’t take two-and-a-half hours of pushing to get a baby out; I knew that the baby was probably stuck and I couldn’t help but be scared half out of my mind for her and for Kayleigh. That wasn’t how things were supposed to go, yet there we were.

Kayleigh cried. I tried my best not to cry myself but I believe that I probably betrayed a few tears at the time. I was scared to death and I couldn’t help but show it just a little. At the moment you’re told your girlfriend needs a c-section to get your baby out, a lot of things flash through your head: Is the baby going to be okay? Is Kayleigh going to be okay? What would I do if something were to happen to either of them? I know, I know, a little paranoid, right? Not really, though, not if you’ve ever read one of those terrible, depressing stories about the semi-rare accident or the unforeseen complications that have happened to couples just like you…

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