When I grow up, I wanna be like D

Went to the first meeting of my book club at work this morning and was quickly reminded that I had made a vow to write daily.  Well, here is it almost a month since my last blog.  Guess I need to check my calendar more often.

I have plenty of stuff rolling around in my head, but today I’d like to brag on my youngest, and why I’d like to be more like him.  And not just because he’s the only one of my children that is a faithful reader of this blog.  Heck, I would render a guess that the other 3 don’t even know this blog exists.  Maybe if I was on SnapChat, I’d get their attention more.

D was my surprise baby.  When my doctor told me there was a 99.9% chance that I would never have another child, I took him at his word.  I mean, he’s the expert right? Well, Doc was just as shocked when I showed up for an appointment pregnant with Mr. .1%.

It was so early in the pregnancy, that the ultrasound couldn’t confirm whether I was pregnant or losing the baby…I was sent home with the instructions to come back in a few weeks to confirm.  Seriously? Who tells a mother-to-be that?

Then later came the full ultrasound at 16 weeks – you know, the one where mom has to drink 3 gallons of water an hour before and then try not to pee yourself while the ultrasound technician is rolling an ultrasound monitor over your bladder. The joyous one where you get to find out the sex of the baby – should you be so inclined.  Imagine my horror when the technician spent most of her time measuring this black circle in D’s brain.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know something is not right.  But of course the technicians can’t tell you anything.  They just send you off to wait to talk to your doctor.

Fast forward to the doctor visit.  Yes, the black spot was something.  It was a blood clot on his brain.  Something not uncommon in utero, but not always good news.  Doc said not to worry about it, and to NOT go home and Google it.  There were 2 outcomes….either it would dissolve on its own before he was born, or there might be some brain function issues.

There is one more thing anyone that’s been around me for any length of time can tell you – I am a worrier.  I worry about things that may happen, things that probably could never happen, and things that I just totally make up in my mind.  I would spend then next 20 weeks worrying about this spot.  The doc would not agree to go back in and ultrasound it again – it would do nothing more than fuel my worry.

Next came 19 weeks preggo and I started having contractions.  Some might call them Braxton Hix, “practice” contractions.  Well, I was only at 19 weeks, I’d already been through this before, and I did NOT need to practice contracting.  I knew this would not end well if this continued.  I did my homework – good ol’ Google – and found out from the March of Dimes that a weekly hormone shot would not stop the contractions, but would keep me from dilating and going into premature labor.  Thank God for March of Dimes.  If you don’t support them financially, you should. I have 3 beautiful children alive and driving me nuts because of the work they do!

I talked to doc and he agreed to give the shot a try.  If we made it to 36 weeks, we would stop the shots at that time. So every week I would drag poor Ben and Anna (4 years old at the time) to the doc so mom could get a big ol’ shot in her butt. I put myself on modified bedrest – meaning, I would lay on the couch most of the day and watch as Ben and Anna played together when they weren’t in preschool.  I only had to physically be at my job on Sundays, so this was not an issue.  Come 36 weeks, we had made it! My next shot was due on Monday, but doc said we’d made it far enough to be safe, so no shot.  Damned if my water didn’t break that night at 1 a.m. Baby D was on his way!

This bundle of joy made his way into the world at 8:30 that morning, with only a half hour of me pushing. He came out weighing more than his brother and sister combined.  And most of all, he came out perfectly normal – no long-term effects from the blood clot.

I used to say that D was the complete opposite of his siblings, but as he grows, that changes.  While Ben and Anna were always painfully shy in elementary, D would make friends with strangers. In fact, he’d try to force his brother to make friends with them also.  From the get go, he was the talker, the socializer, the extrovert.

D is a crazy mix of ADHD and gifted & talented.  I like to think that both help him to think outside the box, to see solutions to problems that other people can’t. I am also aware that it makes it hard for him to see things the way we see them some times – making for some long discussions and arguments among his siblings and parents.

Every day I look at D, I am more and more impressed by the young man he is growing up to be. Yesterday he had track practice at 6:45 a.m., then a full day of school, including athletics, then mountain bike practice from 5:30-7 p.m..  After that, homework kept him up until almost 10.  This morning he was back up at 5:50 to get ready for track practice.

Not once in any of that time did he ever grumble in the slightest. He didn’t make an excuse to skip out on early morning practice today.  In fact, after a gentle wakeup call, he was up and smiling and popping his back in a manner that makes me jealous every day.

He didn’t skip out on ANY of his homework that he had to do, including drawing pictures for a history assignment.  He never complained that there was too much to do. He just put his head down and got his homework done, working for more than 2 hours.

His daily schedule is almost more strenuous than mine – I would venture to say I couldn’t do early morning practice, then sit through 8+ hours of school. And he always goes through life with a smile on his face, not matter how packed his schedule is.

I would love to be more like D because he faces every morning with a smile.  Ask most anyone that’s been around me for any amount of time – I am not a morning person.  I don’t normally greet the day with a smile (though I do hear some snap, crackle and pops coming from my aging joints). If I had had a full day like him, I might be looking for an excuse to sleep in a little the next morning.  I might not act on it, but I’m sure I’d be a lot happier if I was sleeping in!  He has never once asked me if he could skip out on practice because of his schedule the day before.

I would love to be more like D because he is always challenging himself physically.  This summer, he joined me at CrossFit.  His class was 4 days a week and he showed up for each and every one of them, in 100 degree heat.  I wanted to skip out and stay in the air conditioning. In the fall, despite having never run more than a mile, he signed up for Cross Country.  Right out of the gate, he was getting up to practice at 6:45 in the morning, running 2-3 miles daily.  And he improved his meet times by several minutes by the end of the season.

I would love to be more like D because he is a crazy mix of caring, social, extroverted energy.  He cares about the feelings of those around him. He empathizes with those being bullied.  He looks out for the underdog. And he’s not afraid to talk to anyone.  Just make sure you aren’t talking to a crazy nut job there, D. I tend to keep to my introverted self and don’t make friends easily.  I could take page from D’s book, for sure.

I’m so excited to see what the future holds in store for D. His path could lead anywhere. I have not doubt he will do great things.