Tuesday, January 13, 2015
I Get it Now
I get it now, mom and dad. As I approach another birthday compliments of the two who brought me to life, I wanted you to know that I get it now.
I get what it means to see a part of your own reflection in a tiny, precious face. I get how it feels to see those eyes, which are half your eyes, stare up at you with such adoration that you almost don't feel worthy.
I get what it means when your parents say "this hurts me more than it does you" when it comes to discipline, shots, pain, heartache, and the list goes on. Physical pain can be fleeting, but to watch someone you love experience pain lingers and penetrates. It cuts. And although you'd gladly absorb that pain if you could, you simply cannot. No one is exempt from it.
I get what my faith and my Lord mean to me to much more than I did before I became a parent. To look at my son and to think through the sacrifice that God made for me with his only son is the ONLY proof I need to know I shall follow Him all of my days. I could never look at my son and then tell him that billions of lives were more important than his. I just could not. Nor could I have him, in a moment of raw humanness, beg me to spare his life and then still allow him to serve as a sacrifice for others. There's no way. I would choose selfishness and my son every single time. Everyone else would be on their own.
I get what it means to have a part of my heart beating on the outside of my body.
I get why you can tell me that my giggle is one of the best sounds in the world, dad. I now spend hours making my son laugh simply because his laughter heals me.
I get what it means to have to walk away from someone's cries for the sake of your own sanity. I'm sure this will happen many, many more times in my life times ten. I'm sure this is only just beginning.
I get what it means to wake countless times in the night just to sneak over and ever so silently watch for a rising and falling chest. Or to use the gentlest touch to ensure that chest is rising and falling when my sight fails me. And when push comes to shove, I get needing to jostle that body a bit just to be certain even if it then means ducking with ninja like speed if my jostling wakes the soundly sleeping baby.
I get what it means to feel the weight of being responsible for someone else's nourishment, warmth, cleanliness and care, and that sometimes those needs will come before your own no matter how hungry you are or how questionable you may smell or how much you yourself have needed to pee for the last two hours.
I get how you relished a few moments of peace in the shower or the bathroom or at the end of a long day, only to find that cries carry through walls no matter where you are. There is no escape.
I get how even when you were sick and not feeling well, someone still relied on you. There are no vacation days from parenthood. The show must go on so grab some Kleenex and power through.
I get how proud you can be for someone else without any twinge of jealousy or greed. I get how it feels to celebrate even the smallest simplest of actions or accomplishments.
I get how your wallets used to look with photos of Tanner and I, and how phones now have a way of making their way into unrelated conversations so you can show off your newest photo of yet another sleeping baby.
I get how fear and concern must've coursed through your veins as you watched me lifted over heads and tossed in the air through years of skating and cheerleading. Seriously though, how did I never break a bone?
I get how you felt that something wasn't "right" and stood your ground, against my dismay and tears, as you told me that I was not allowed to spend the night at a new, older friend's house, only to find that the same family would spend jail time due to child abuse and pornography charges. You, in your infinite, parental wisdom were much smarter than I and I'm forever grateful that you held your ground based on a "feeling". I get why you had the feeling in the first place now.
I get every single time you sacrificed so that I could continue following my dreams and passions on the ice even though it meant living a lifestyle a notch or two below what you probably deserved and earned. You gave and gave and even though those checks were probably painful to write each month, year after year, there you sat in the stands at every competition or show and cheered me on.
I get what it means to have a love that knows no bounds. I've always known that with you, but now I know how it feels to have that love run full circle and I'm better for it. I'm softer for it and harder for it all at the same.
I get it now. And I get you now. All the love, all the pain, all the stress, all the tears, all the "what ifs" and the "whys and why nots", all the hugs and the kisses, all the meals and the baths and diapers and then diplomas. I get it and I get you, and there a million more words that could spill out of my head and heart, but I'll leave it at this...
Thank you. I love you. I get it now.