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It’s interesting how something changes, although it is precisely what it was before. When I was a young child, I loved watching Fraggle Rock.

Dance your cares away,
Worry’s for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.

Work you cares away,
Dancing’s for another day.
Let the Fraggles play,
We’re Gobo, Mokey, Wembley, Boober, Red.

Dance your cares away,
Worry’s for another day.
Let the music play,
Down at Fraggle Rock.
Down at Fraggle Rock.
Down at Fraggle Rock.

We were recently enjoying a lazy evening around the house and decided to find something to stream via Netflix. Sarah went to the kitchen to make popcorn, while I perused the “Watch it now” list on Netflix.com.

“What we watching, daddy?”

“What ARE we watching, daddy?” I corrected. “I don’t know yet, I’m still looking.”

“What ow we watching, daddy?”

“I don’t know. I just told you I don’t know. Why aren’t you listening to me?”

“We watching a mooooovie?”

“Tyler. Seriously. We’re not going to watch anything if you don’t let me see what there is to watch.”

Tyler paused, seeming to process my last statement. I returned my attention to the screen, scrolling past Bob the Builder, Thomas the Train, and a plethora of other shows that I honestly couldn’t care less about.

“I want to watch something.”

I closed my eyes, and chose to just ignore Tyler. Then, I saw it. Season one of Fraggle Rock.

“Sarah,” I shouted across the house, “how about Fraggle Rock?”

The reply – and excitement – was immediate. “YES!”

As I clicked the appropriate links and booted up the Wii, I told Tyler what we were going to watch.

“I not want to watch Flaggle Rock.”

“Tyler, you don’t know what you want. You’re going to love Fraggle Rock.”

From start to finish of episode one, of season one, Tyler’s eyes were glued to the screen. When the episode ended, he said “Want to watch another one.” So we did.

The beauty of Netflix is that you can stream these shows commercial free. Each episode is approximately 22 minutes. For roughly 44 minutes, Tyler laughed at Sprocket, learned about Fraggles, Dozers, and the King, Queen and Prince of the universe (the Gorgs). He giggled madly when the Trash Heap appeared and spoke with her rats.

Sarah and I? We spent those 44 minutes giving each other strange looks. We whispered to each other.

“Do you remember this show being this bad?” I asked.

“No. I used to like this show,” she replied.

“Me too! Loved it. You know there’s 5 seasons of this on Netflix?”

“Amazing…”

“I wonder if our parents thought this show was as stupid as we think it is now.”

“Hahaha… I bet. I feel bad for them now.”

“WAIT! Doc… Look at him. Isn’t that the guy who’s in Boondock Saints? The dude that has Tourettes?”

“Oh my God. That is totally him. Hahahaha.”

Doc. The old guy that runs the workshop with his pet dog, Sprocket. He, strangely enough, also plays Doc in Boondock Saints, where one of his more memorable quotes in the movie is “Why don’t you make like a tree, and get the f— outta here?” Unbelievable.

A couple days ago, Sarah was having some rather strong contractions, and I was suffering from some intense neck pain. We decided to have another lazy evening. It was well deserved this time, though. Earlier, Tyler and I bundled up and played out in the snow with Delilah for a while. Then Sarah and Tyler played with dinosaurs and Legos. As the evening progressed, we just wanted to snuggle up, so I asked Tyler if he wanted to watch some more Fraggle Rock.

“YES,” he replied without hesitation. “I love Fwaggle Rock.”

Although watching the show through an adult’s eyes makes me realize that the show simply isn’t that good… I’m kinda looking forward to making my way through the 96 episodes.

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Due to the nature of what I do for a living, I see a lot of strange, funny, normal, and sad things. As I’m sure we all do. In my case, it’s not uncommon for me to work around confused, sick, or dying people. It hurts me deep within my soul to look into the eyes of a person, who will likely not make it through the next couple of days, and wish them the best. On three occasions, I’ve seen, and worked in very close proximity to, a person that has recently deceased. It envelops me in a hollow sadness to see a person with whom life and consciousness has left.

Up until five weeks ago, that had been the worst that I’d seen in my job.

Recently, one of my peers asked if I could spare a day to help him with a project at one of his hospitals. We had a very productive day, and an all-around good day. As we were wrapping up and getting ready to leave for a late lunch, we were informed that one of the products we had yet to find was located. We found a nurse who led us down the twisting and turning hallways into the pediatric unit and to the room we needed to go into. She peeked her head into the room and asked if we could come in for two or three minutes. In a moment, she opened the door for us to enter.

The patient was a six or seven year old boy. He was sitting, shirtless and pants-less in a chair, wearing only white briefs. Six or more rubber tubes, roughly the diameter of a drinking straw, were inserted into his chest. At least a couple of the tubes were filled with blood. The other tubes were clear, either empty or filled with a clear liquid. He labored to breathe and looked tired. So very tired. His dad sat directly across from him and told him that everything was okay and that we were there to work on something else; not him. At that statement, a lump formed high in my throat.

As we worked, the boy let out a cough. I glanced up to look at him. I didn’t intend to; it was more instinct than desire or intent. He was staring very deliberately at his dad, trying not to cry from the pain that the single cough caused him. I closed my eyes for a moment and looked away before opening them again. As we finished, we wished the boy a fast recovery. I found it extremely difficult to get the words out. The dad thanked us, looked at his son and said “He’s the strongest little man I’ve ever known.” His voice wavered as he said the words.

We left the room and made our way back through the hallways, neither of us speaking. I simply couldn’t find the strength to say anything, for fear that I’d crumble into an emotional mess. As a dad, I see nearly everything through a different set of eyes than I did before. That day, I saw a son trying to be strong and brave for his dad. And I saw a very proud dad… trying to do the same for his son.

I sincerely hope that the little boy recovered. I’m sure he did, and I’m sure he’s running around spreading chaos like every other little kid out there. I’d also like to think that, in some strange six-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon way, this post makes its way to that dad. I want to thank him for being the best dad he could be to that little boy, especially in his time of need. And more than anything else in the world, I pray that I’m never in that situation.

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