It’s such an overused word, but it’s the most fitting for my Baby Monkey.
He’s just awesome.
He is laid back, but doesn’t let anyone walk all over him.
He marches to the beat of his own drummer and isn’t too interested in following the beat of others.
He’s the kid who would be thrilled to have fruit than ice cream, play an engineering game than football, be alone doing what he enjoys than be with the crowd doing something he doesn’t like.
I love him.
I love him so much I can barely even fathom it.
When he was born, they didn’t give him right to me.
There was a silence.
A silence that I recognized, instantly, because he was my third baby, and I knew that in those moments, there was supposed to be the sound of a baby crying.
That morning, there was nothing.
Real Man stood by my head, and I told him, “Go with the baby. Find out what’s wrong with the baby.”
I lay there feeling no physical pain as they began to close up the c-section, but in the deepest emotional agony I had ever felt.
He wasn’t breathing.
It was the quietest delivery room I had ever experienced.
And then he cried, and there were tears all around.
As a result of them having to put a tube down his throat to get out the fluid that had stopped him from breathing he suffered from laryngomalacia for the first year of his life, which caused him to make…interesting sounds when he breathed.
And then he grew out of it.
The week before his first birthday, he wound up contracting eczema herpeticum and had to be hospitalized for a rash the likes of which I have never seen and never want to see again.
We were in the infectious disease ward for almost a week.
And then he was better.
When he was three, he began to have, what we called, eye seizures, but what was later classified as nystagmus.
The kid went through numerous tests, spent three days in the hospital hooked up to an EEG, and never lost his good spirits.
And then it stopped.
I always say that my theme song is “Tubthumping,” which has the lyrics, “I get knocked down, but I get up again,” but the truth is, it’s this kid that never stays down, that keeps going, and that does it all with an ease and coolness that defies explanation.
And today, he’s eight.