It always starts with an accomplishment…
Well, it’s May. A month for rain, flowers, marriages, graduations, and of course tears. This year my second son, leaves high school for the lofty heights of college. My wife sits around looking through the old albums, with a tear in her eye, whilst I cry much louder for the great big hole, he is putting in my wallet. You see my life has become nothing more than a great big enigma. He is planning to go to a great college. To get the scholarships he needs he’s got to keep his grades up. To do that he can’t get a job. BUT he wants to do all the end of high school stuff like prom and picnics that cost money. So do I make him get a job, for all that stuff now and pay more for college later or do I pay for all the stuff now, let him slide, and pay less for college. I just can’t take it.
And always ends up a memory
He has always been this kind of a problem. Even when he was a cute cuddly infant. At first, he was so precious, I could sit and just look at him all day. When he cried, I plugged in a bottle and once again life was perfect. I had no trouble even when I wiped off a little bit of drool from his lips and didn’t mind changing a dirty diaper or two. People came over to visit us all the time and brought gifts for the little angel. I smiled, my wife smiled, the baby smiled. I swear even the dog had a grin. This was before we owned a cat. Cats never smile.
Then my pediatrician suggested that it was time for our progeny to learn to walk. I was afraid for how my life would be corrupted but still dutifully went out and purchased the required expensive piece of equipment that would invariably end up in a garage sale looking almost brand new; the walker. That’s the rollie thing with a seat in the middle that’s supposed to strengthen the child’s legs by supporting him while he takes his first steps. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, it might’ve been if the Marquis de Sade hadn’t invented it. As far as I can tell, this device has only one true function; To raise the amount of torture which a child can pile onto a weary father. By this point, I had already dealt with sleep deprivation, bodily fluids all over the house, and the mashed green stuff flying across the room because my sons wouldn’t eat it. Now, I had to endure the physical pain of having toes run over, and my shins bashed in by the little laughing man that I just made mobile.
The other thing was the new damage to the house. Gone were the days of wiping up his little faux pas. This machine made sure that he left deep gouges in everything he touched. It wouldn’t be so bad if he kept to the center of the room, but no! I can still remember his undaunted determination. Without speaking, he swore to never rest until there was deep grooves in every wall, all the table legs, and especially my ankles. I tried to take him out of it, but couldn’t. Once he had experienced the freedom of movement, he screamed blue murder if I dared separate him from it. I don’t know what was worse, the pain in my legs when he was in the walker, or the pain in my ears when he was out of it. This was sixteen years ago, and I swear my ears are still ringing.
Of course, even in this time of greatest trial, I still gained something from the horrible experience of so long ago. It was then that I learned that dogs are infinitely smarter than humans because they run and hide at the slightest sight of a walking baby in one of these horrible contraptions. This is very intelligent for what some call a “dumb” animal. Sadly, the “intelligent” race of humans on this planet are stupid enough to encourage this painful behavior. Why is that? My friends and family would come over and tell me how mature he was, walking around by himself. They’d snicker, and call the gashes on the antique furniture ‘little oopsies.’ I was afraid to show them the bleeding scars on my legs for fear they’ll laugh out loud. I should have known what was coming when I asked my brother to come help me put that darned thing together and he came over wearing steel toed boots.
We live and learn
The worst part about all this was I couldn’t even fall back on my ace in the hole, the garage sale. Usually, I could get rid of offending equipment by selling it on the front lawn but not this thing. His adventures left the monstrosity so banged up no one would buy it. Of course, the large number of bloodstains may have had something to do with that as well. I did try to throw it in the trash, but three detectives from the city cited me for trying to get rid of evidence from a horrible murder. I tried to explain, it was my blood and my two-year-old son had beat my legs to a bloody pulp. Well to make a long story short, I was released from the nut-house three days later.
Once he rolled it over to the stairway and almost went down. When I saw this, I flew across the room, grabbed the walker, and threw it and him into the kitchen. It spun wildly and bounced off of several things. My son laughed and stuck his hands in the air as if he was on a roller coaster. I collapsed in a heap of fear and sweat, thinking of what might have happened. My toddler laughed all the way to the baby sitters as I was treated for a heart attack. It was actually a false alarm, but now I know where some of those strange warning labels come from. When those label say, “May cause severe stress, heart palpitations, skittish dogs, chain smoking, drug abuse, and a whole bunch of other nasty things!” I had no idea what they meant until that moment.
After all! He is the son of Mr. Ohh!
I’m not sure why we think of these kinds of stories when our children are about to make changes in their lives. Maybe we’re just saps and long for the days of the past. The thing is, I’ve never been all that nostalgic for babies or old bloody sores. So, you may ask why I’m telling you this sentimental tale of memory and woe? I’d like to believe it’s because I’m proud of him, but that goes without saying. Actually, I think the real reason is that he asked me to purchase him a new laptop computer for graduation. He is really smart and truly deserves such a grand gift, but I’ve decided to give him something else. And If I started this post with, “For graduation I’m giving my son an old bloody toddler walker”, nobody would have understood.
Let those detectives come after him this time!
Thank you for laughing and Please read a little longer
Thank you all for laughing with me, but I need to be serious. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disease which rots the liver and lungs. There is no cure. The only help for people is to have a weekly infusion of proteins to stop the spread. For the next few months I will be taking all my proceeds and donating them to the Alpha-1 Foundation who are searching for a cure to this horrible malady. You can give here or for more information go to Alpha-1.org Thanks for supporting world laughter, and finding a cure. Laugh On