Lucy’s Dr. Knight (in shining armor)
a blog post by a F.O.G. (Father of Girls)
I love my oldest child Lucinda Sara Seward; she is affectionate, caring, and a kind-hearted soul, many times her embarrassment is simply a sign of her uncomfortable feelings of being in a new situation (I think we all experience that).
Lucy has gone through her toils and self (physical) growth, being only 9 days old she had her first heart surgery, at 5 ½ months her temporary open heart surgery repair, a kidney valve replacement surgery at 17 months, tonsils out, 2 sets of ear tubes, another open heart surgery a year and a half ago, and just 9 months ago – surgery to place a loop recorder under her left armpit. Through it all she has grown a high tolerance of pain, she is a tough cookie. Anyone who knows her knows that she has a spirit of genuine care for others, she has the gift of compassion and empathy; she is sensitive and her and I have shared more than one nice cry during Disney movies and some commercials.
The thing I know about Lucy is that at times she is a fumbly bumbly, she has the tendency to spill things, drop things, trip then fall; all unintentionally of course but the consequences of each incident are a broken ankle, broken valuables, scrapped knees, etc all lessons waiting to be learned. Lucy is a very focused person, she has a difficult time mufti-tasking – this may be inherited from my side of the family, as I find it difficult to not concentrate on the task at hand.
Her aunt Joyce (my sister) was an uncoordinated, awkward elementary kid; her name sake aunt (Sincerely) Sara has stories to share about her fumbly time(s). I have no proof of this but I think Lucy finds ant hills and trips over them. When Lucy runs I ask her to stop, habitually she falls, or stumbles causing all sorts of owies. This time it was chipped teeth.
I was privileged to sit and watch Gods hand at work through Dr. Knight; our family dentist. Amazing skills, steady hands, and control..even while I went around snapping pictures. What was thought, by her mom and me to be a life time deficiency is now a memory. Lucy’s smile is just as pretty as it was before.
This experience prompted me to find a “life” lesson…I installed towel racks closer to the bath tub. I called Lucy to the bathroom and gave her a lesson on “how to get out of a bath tub” 101. This by no means is to be insulting to her, but if I didn’t tell her, maybe her continuous “trial and error” way of learning will lead to more falls, something this daddy wants to prevent. So keeping in the tradition of the slices, I have a 10 step (recipe) created to help teach your fumbly bumbly (if you have one, every family does):
1) turn shower off
2) reach just your arm out of tub toward towel on rack
3) take towel off of towel rack slowly and dry head (research shows that there is more water on the human head after a shower)
4) dry rest of the body
5) step out of bath tub, on to bath mat or rug
6) dry legs and feet
7) dry anything else that might be wet
8) stand in front of mirror
9) smile, and
10) know that you safely made it out of the tub.
There will be a day that I won’t be around to tell Lucy to “slow down” or “don’t run with your flip flops on” or “be careful.” These are the days that life lessons are of importance, when your child will listen to you. Many times I am in a fog and disbelief of trips and falls that have occurred? I guess I think my 9 year old should just know this (but who taught her, and why shouldn’t it be a parent who confirms her knowledge of things?). I remember those days when after each scrap, fall, and booboo I would hug and pray. I am not sure when that changed, but I vow to return to those days, where daddy takes the time to heal not yell. Where daddy can show love through patience, not disappointment through words. I want a calm voice of caution to be with her as she decides to take risk and be accountable, not a memory of my intolerance. We are never to old to learn life lessons through the lessons our children endure through their journey for independence. Get out of the fog and take joy in the independent journey your kids are on, these are priceless moments.
Dr. Jim Seward (Dad)