Alternate Title: Reason number 2,377,467 that I love Tyler
When I get sick, the world around me comes to a screeching halt. You need help loading the dishwasher? Too bad, I’m sick. The world is in danger of a zombie apocalypse, and I am mankind’s only hope? It’s gonna have to wait until next week, I’m sick over here. You have 3 tickets to the Superbowl? … … Gimme a second, I’m thinking. Yeah, it’s that bad.
Last week, I told Sarah that my throat was feeling a little scratchy. She replied with a compassionate, “oh no,” but her eyes told a different story. Her eyes grew wary with the thought of having a 15 month old child and a 31 year old baby to tend to for the next few days. I started popping vitamin C pills like they were candy, because let’s be honest here, men only take vitamin C or any other pill after they get sick, not before. If it ain’t broke…
I came home from work completely drained. Apparently, it takes a lot of energy for a body to fight a cold off. Tyler hasn’t caught on to the fact that, when daddy is sick, it is no longer “all about Tyler” in our household anymore. Kids are selfish little brats sometimes. While I would have loved to just lay on the couch with a blanket and a soft pillow while Sarah made me some hot chocolate and a delicious supper, I instead had to crawl around on the floor, laugh and talk to Tyler through my feels-like-I-just-swallowed-a-bucket-of-sharp-glass throat, and chase him from room to room. Meanwhile, Sarah was in the kitchen, making hot chocolate for Tyler and me, and making a delicious supper for us.
Eventually, I was given a bit of a reprieve. Tyler ran into me and gave me a giant hug. I took the opportunity to fall backwards onto the ground while hugging him. This was one of those hugs. Parents know what I’m talking about. This hug could cure world hunger, and bring peace and love to the entire planet. This hug makes angels cry and birds sing. Love was borne from this type of hug.
Tyler rolled off, pulled my shirt up and dug his finger into my belly button so hard that it made my boy parts hurt. Then he showed me his belly button. After that, he studied my stomach for a couple seconds. I didn’t know what was going on, but I could tell he was processing something in that little head of his. Either that, or he was pooping, but he tends to stare me right in the eyes while he does that. A moment later, he pointed to a scar that was roughly the size of a dime in the area of my obliques, and said, “Owwwwwwww.”
I actually had to look at my stomach to make sure that I wasn’t bleeding or cut somewhere. It never occurred to me that he would be able to associate a scar with an ‘ouch.’ I’m actually still rather confused how he was able to figure that out.
Feeling a moment of immense pride in my son’s ability to make that connection, I replied, “Yes, that’s daddy’s ouch. When really bad ouchies heal, they make a scar. This is daddy’s scar.”
Tyler leaned forward, put his lips on it and said “Muah.” This is Tyler’s best imitation of a kiss. This was on of those moments. Parents know what I’m talking about. It was this moment that reminded me that I was put on Earth to be Tyler’s daddy. It was this moment that I didn’t feel sick anymore. This moment existed for only me, and if I shared it with the world, crime would end, the ailing would be healed, and water would have turned to wine. Love was borne from a moment like this.
“Thank you, Tyler. Now it’s all better.”
Later, it couldn’t have been more than 5 minutes, we were playing on the floor with cars and tractors and farm animals. There was no storyline or dialog to follow. I drove the tractor in a circle on the floor, picked up a couple animals, drove in a circle, dropped them off, drove in a circle, picked up a couple animals… well, you get the picture. I started to feel drained and very ill again. I laid my head on the floor and told Tyler I was sorry and that “daddy doesn’t feel well.” Tyler played with his toys for just a moment longer. I closed my eyes for a second and let out quiet moan. Just then, Tyler put his hand on my head and started petting me. Tyler doesn’t have a solid grasp on being gentle, and his petting was slightly haphazard, but it didn’t stop this from being one of the most amazing moments of my life as a father. This was one of those moments that could have… well, I think you know. I’m talking singing angels over here. I was wrong earlier. Love was borne from a moment like this!