a certificate of achievement
you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with
i am already starting to cry.
one of the joys of being a father is getting to go to events where my children are recognized for the good job they're doing in school.
today no. 1 got an award for most improved. this is wonderful. but as wonderful as it is, it is not the reason i am crying.
i got to sit next to my boys while the kindergarteners and 1st graders got their various awards. as the awards were being handed out for no. 2's class, he clapped and cheered the loudest, saying "yay!" and calling each recipient by name.
no. 2 is going to be repeating kindergarten.
this didn't really come as a shock to any of us. i mean, he could barely sing the abc song when he started this year, and most of the kids could recognize letters and match them to the appropriate sound.
between awards, no. 2 kept asking when he was going to get his.
buddy, i am giving it to you right now:
when no. 2 was born, he was a double handful for me. that isn't a euphemism. that is the god's honest truth. i could cup my two hands together, and he could rest easy there, with only his legs and arms hanging over like someone riding an inner tube down a river.
his heart stopped daily.
at one point, he was dead for a full minute. not moving, not breathing, flatlining dead.
when we finally got to take him home, he had so many doctors and therapists and issues that those days and weeks and months were nothing but a hazy blur of appointments.
over time, no. 2 went surmounting hurdles, meeting goals, losing appointments and therapists.
but we're not out of the woods yet.
that is to say, i wasn't expecting him to get any awards today. because the teachers don't realize what no. 2 has had to battle just to be in their class, engaged, an active part of the goings on.
but i know. and mommy knows. and grammy knows. and nana and boppa know. people know.
and so here is no. 2's certificate of achievement:
for battling back through the methadone and the brink of death to hang with us for many more years.
for having healed quickly from twice as many surgeries as daddy has had.
for growing and flourishing despite not being able to eat by mouth.
for not giving up when the physical and speech therapies got hard.
for being the only other one in the family that will change the lyrics to a song to "smellypants boogernose" and then laugh like crazy with me.
for getting tall despite a lack of growth hormone in your body.
for walking, talking, getting potty trained, learning to write, getting your own self dressed.
for being the one that gives me random hugs out of the blue, and patting me on the back when we sit together.
for having started the school year barely able to sing the abc's and recognize but a handful of letters, and now being able to sound out simple words and write them as well as your name.
for cheering and clapping when others in your class got awards and not getting upset or jealous that you didn't get anything.
for all this, i present to you:
a lifetime achievement medal.
which i am sure is only the beginning of a lifetime of achievements yet to come.
oh fuck, my beloved non-existants. that was maybe long overdue. both the recognition and the cry, but now i must wash my face cause i am a wreck.
and no. 2, i love you, and am proud of you, buddy.