Thursday, September 22, 2011

A REAL Hinter's "Ode to Children"

I have four children, which makes me an expert on fathering (quick, read the next sentence before the flaw in that logic surfaces) 
In addition, as a Hintermeister, I have an extra-special something that helps in my fathering...I call it the HINTERmojo. It would be a shame to keep this power a secret, so I'd like to give you my "Ode to Children" that you can use to become a HINTERfather on your own.
But be warned, we do NOT want this power to be released into the general population, so I have encrypted this "Ode". The normal text is what the 'masses' will hear you say...and the italicized text is said in your head, or under your breath preferably as you glare with your HINTEReyes at your kids. This will immerse you in the secret HINTERsauce that will truly make you a fathering expert.

~~~ Ode to My HINTERchildren ~~~
My Darling Children
...which right now stands for DARn-Louder-than-a-traIN-annoying-little-$*#%!-I-missed-what-captain-picard-was-sayinG!

I love you more than life
...Life cereal, that is. But, add fresh raspberries...and a drop of honey, Hmmm, I'd have to think on it

The moment I learned I would be a father, I cried tears of joy
...and fear, anguish, pity, and betrayal. I mean, the Health teacher explicitly said it only happens when Coke and kissing are mixed. I haven't had Coke in years!!! And the missus and I were just getting started in our travels. Lousy educators...I blame them (well, OK...and the jetlag...and the European air...and the gardens...and the 2 hour bullet train to Paris...and...)

When you arrived, you took my breath away
...mostly from nausea and looked kinda gross. And what a grueling day! I had to sit in a hospital chair for 21 hours...STRAIGHT...and that was pre-iPhone. The anguish can not be compared! At least the missus got drugs and a bed...she was so lucky

As I watch you grow, my heart overflows
...but not my wallet. If I knew how much friggin' money you'd cost me, we might have turned to pet gerbils for love and purpose. They're .034% the cost to feed, they run around naked, and they don't take over my home theatre when I want to watch a movie. Sure they poop in my hands...but so did you until you were three.

I can't believe how blessed I am in the wholesome replacement for a curse word. Example: "Where is that blessed kid!?!" or, "That was a blessed stupid stunt you tried to pull!", or, "These are marshmallows, not a blessed snack...nor ammo!"

What an amazing gift you are
...but a new Nissan 350z Roadster is an amazing gift too...and I could have bought six of them instead of what I spent for sports and braces and clothes and food. Oh, and the Roadster doesn't talk back...unless you count the sweet tones of open-road engine hum...which is quite different from anything that ends in "...hate you Dad!"

One day, you will be out in this world on your own
...Amen, but still sucking money from your patriarical teet, I'm sure

People will see a loving, happy, shining spirit
...which came entirely from your Mom. If they see a moody, shallow, "Nonsense...those shoes will last another year with the proper amount of duct tape!" spirit, that'd be from me

My hope is that the world will look upon you and smile
...cause that's what I'll be doing in MY home theatre

Throughout your life, a part of my heart will always be with you
...I just hope it grows back. I've heard the capacity to love grows, but my new guitar just arrived and I've got a lot of lovin' to do

As long as I am alive, I will always be proud of you. I love you
...which is sayin' something...especially after the "power drill incident" and the "nice chat with the police officer" episodes

...Now, plug in that guitar, click 4, and lets rock this joint! There's always room for a metal family band, right?!?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hospitals Been Beddy Beddy Good to Me

I had just brought my oldest home from getting his appendix out.  As usual, the outcome was great. My quippy comment to a friend was, "Hospitals been beddy beddy good to us" (thank you vintage SNL memory)

Then I stopped...this was nothing to take lightly. 

Our hospital adventures have truly been good experiences, but they could just have as easily turned very bad. Case in point: While I was waiting for my boy to recover from surgery, a mere 10 feet away from me was a family waiting for an "end of life". The husband/father/grandfather had taken a turn for the worse, and the wife/grandmother was sitting with her daughter and son for the final word. 

The nurse came rushing in, "Come now. He just stopped breathing...this might be it".

And they rushed away.

...just like that...for them, it turned very bad.

That was the closest I have come to a bad hospital experience...and I have to ask myself: Why do we seem to always have good hospital adventures, while others have had bad

Even the fact we call them "adventures" points to the positive outcomes.

Why? Is it to teach me a "Right-place-at-the-right-time" life lesson?

When our first-born was born in distress (that's medical-talk for NOT BREATHING), he was revived and spent the night in the NICU. The next day, as he was nicely recovering, they discovered Group B Strep, which resulted in a full 2 week stay at "Hotel Mayo" (complete with $1925/hour baby care). Later they would tell us how lucky we were that he was born in distress...because it forced a longer stay...which let them discover the Group B Strep. It could have been very bad if it was not diagnosed so early. 

Why does it turn out well for us? Is it to teach me the "Thank God you live next to the best medical facility in the world" lesson?

When our twin girls were born, our li'l 4 pounder was put in a bun warmer her first day to keep her temp constant, then was diagnosed with a heart defect. After 2.5 months of not thriving she had open heart surgery (by a doctor who's done over 1000 of them). Now at 10, you'd never know...except a scar that I feel she wears as a "Don't MESS with me...I've already been through worse" attitude beacon.

Any possible answer comes up shallow...except, "I don't know, that's just how it turned out"...which is shallow.

Is it because I'm living such a righteous life? Hardly. I am a very poor example of living right.

Is it because of the awesome medical care? Definitely, but is that the only reason? I know the doctors are awesome, but I know they're NOT batting a thousand.

I know I'm supposed to say "It's because we've been very blessed", but I have a hard time with that answer. If I'm blessed with good, then does that mean someone else is cursed with bad? What about those that are better believers than me that have had to deal with the very bad? If they're cursed with bad, then it doesn't make sense at all that I'm blessed with good.

So I ask again, Why? Is it to teach me, "There are more important things in life than work" lesson?

When I was in Florida teaching at a conference for work...I got a call that the ultrasound docs wanted us to come in to discuss our yet-to-be-born 4th child. They saw something...a cyst, a something...and wanted a closer look. Oh, and they said that this raises the chances of a chromosomal defect (Downs Syndrome). After more tests, and knowing that regardless of the results we'd love him, we waited the last few months...and were introduced to a perfectly healthy, happy boy.

And now with my oldest, who was in the deep of Canada a few weeks before his appendix attack. That could have been very bad. But it wasn't. It was very good.

Why do we always have happy hospital visits?


...and what happens when a visit goes bad? 

...because at some point it will.

Is that the end of any residual of my happy persona? Am I strong enough to get through a bad visit?

I've heard all the sermons on "Why does God let bad things happen to me", but to be honest, they make it sound like I should look forward to bad things...that I should be more worried if nothing bad ever happens to me. Is God handling me with kid-gloves? Is my faith so fragile that Jesus doesn't dare allow a very bad? If so, I should write a book about it: "Fragile-ize Your Faith! The secret guide to long-lasting health of your loved ones".

Is it just dumb luck? That doesn't sound too Jesus-ly.

I don't really have a good answer. Just lots of questions. 



P.S. Throughout this writing, I've been tempted to knock on wood...or laminate...or any striped material. I guess that illustrates my see-through faith? I get this superstitious feeling that by even bringing this topic up, I risk backlash. Is that messed up or what?

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