In Love with These Guys/Skies

February 16, 2016

Jim told a story tonight. It’s a dad moment worth blog-memorializing:

As the father of an almost-18-year-old, there aren’t many occasions anymore in which my dad-ness is not only requested but explicitly appreciated. Late last night – “late” in this case being 1:00 a.m.ish, as I’d already been asleep for a couple of hours — the near-adult was getting ready to go to bed when he got one of those mysterious chest pains, the kind that prevents you from inhaling deeply without sharp discomfort. I’ve always figured them to be some kind of muscle spasm, and find that they generally resolve on their own after 15 minutes or so. However, the victim this time had never had one before, at least not one that lasted so long, and it scared him. This kind of fear manifests as irritability and an expectation that someone must do something about the problem, so the parental units were alerted. After much questioning about symptoms I wasn’t alarmed, but agreed to call an advice nurse. She ran through pretty much the same symptom rubric and also concluded that there was no emergency. Still not reassured, the teenager agreed to try to get to sleep as long as I hung out in the room. So I grabbed a blanket and made myself comfortable-ish on the reclining desk chair, and sure enough after half an hour or so the pain and anxiety succumbed to sleep. But that half an hour was plenty of time for me to reflect on the many times in his younger years that I gave up a good chunk of my nightly rest in order to keep him feeling safe and comfortable. As I was leaving his bedroom the boy came just awake enough to say “Thanks,” and in the end it was worth the next morning’s grogginess to get to feel like a full-on dad again.

Much to love in that story.

Peter’s fear last night was so acute, his need for Jim’s assurance and presence, so tender. Jim’s reflection hits a delicate spot as we are both so aware of the changes coming.



And.. don’t you remember being scared out of your mind the first time you felt those sharp chest pains? I very clearly remember going into my parents’ bedroom to tell them I was having a heart attack. I was probably in junior high, maybe younger, not sure. It was so hard to relax while taking in short, shallow breaths. They still give me great anxiety… it’s a pain that really gets your attention. I grew up thinking they were gas pains. Last night was the first I’d heard muscle spasm as an explanation.


So, speaking of being in love with these skies….


Tonight’s as I pulled into the driveway.