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Published December 05, 2011, 11:30 PM

Parenting Perspectives: Child’s first cry still meaningful nine years later

My dear little Bug, Can it possibly be true? This past week I turned around, and inexplicably, my baby boy had turned into a 9-year-old little man who stands two-thirds my height and seems closer to adulthood than he does his days in diapers.

By: Devlyn Brooks, INFORUM

My dear little Bug,

Can it possibly be true?

This past week I turned around, and inexplicably, my baby boy had turned into a 9-year-old little man who stands two-thirds my height and seems closer to adulthood than he does his days in diapers.

It seems like just yesterday that we were rushing from Thanksgiving dinner at your Nana and Papa’s to the hospital because you decided you couldn’t wait any longer. You were entering this world, Thanksgiving dinners and family gatherings be damned.

What a memorable holiday – one that resulted in something for which to be truly thankful.

(Oh, and I’ve never properly thanked you for getting me out of the post-meal dinner dishes. It was our turn that year, and let’s just say, your timing was … serendipitous. Remind me that I owe you a solid.)

But as with most things with you, you didn’t make it easy, did you? There was no smiling nurse handing the proud daddy his son this time around ... No, not for you.

For you, it was straight to the incubator, which was surrounded by more than a half-dozen nurses, shielding me and your mom so that we couldn’t see what was happening.

And then there was that silence, the most-deafening silence I’ve ever known. Heart-wrenching silence ... None of the infant squalls your brother produced ... No, not for you.

All we heard were the hushed tones of medical professionals anxiously going about their work while trying not to rattle a couple of panic-stricken young parents.

And then came the wait, the excruciatingly long first night during which we waited for you to utter your first sounds and stretch your tiny little body. But none came ... No, not for you.

Fourteen long hours passed between the time you were born and the time we heard that first little whimper slip through your beautiful little lips. And I can tell you, son, I’ve yet to hear a more beautiful sound in the nine years since.

We learned later, of course, that the doctor thought your mother’s anesthesia was delivered too close to the birth and thus you came out drugged to the hilt and that probably led to your complications. But we didn’t know any of that in those first hours. We just knew that you were oxygen-deprived, inexplicably quiet and very, very sedated.

Oh, and we knew that we were terrified. Actually, terrified doesn’t begin to describe how we felt, but then again there really isn’t a word that properly describes that fear.

But, lo and behold, look at you now, look at you now.

You’ve grown up big and strong and kind and caring and smart and funny and talented and clever. And there’s not a hint of the drama we lived through that very first night.

Looking at you now, no one would ever suspect that the kid who has ants in pants didn’t move a muscle in those first hours. Nor would they suspect that the kid who seemingly talks every moment he is awake, didn’t utter his first sounds until most of a day passed after his birth.

Yes, look at you now: 9 years old and going on 15. Healthy, happy and happenin’. A man on the go, whether it’s to his friend’s house across the street or running laps around the house with his puppy.

Now there’s no slowing you down ... Nope, not for you.

Happy birthday, my little man. If the first nine years have been this great, I can’t imagine what the next nine will bring.

Devlyn Brooks lives in Moorhead with his two sons. He works for Forum Communications Co.

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