Ode to Normalcy03.10.2011
Don’t worry, I’m not going to get all poetic on you.
Before you were born I admit that I was terrified. Not of being a father, or of having my whole lifestyle turned upside-down, nor was I truly afraid of changing your diapers. The thought of constant crying was a little on the scary side, but that’s not the kind of thing I’m talking about.
No, I was in mortal terror that you would arrive abnormal.
I’m not talking about the “Wearing hats that are 60 years out of style” abnormal, or the “being painfully shy” kind. Not even the “being kinda weird looking” type of abnormal would have bothered me (and by the way, all of those could apply to your father at one point or another). I’d be a little disappointed if you didn’t grow up to be a little odd… you’re your Daddy’s girl, after all.
Five fingers. Five toes. A brain that works properly. A heart that pumps and eyes that can see the world. Ears so that you can listen to me sing tunelessly to you. That these things that I take for granted would be denied you is what was, deep down, scaring the hell out of me.
Of course, little Teagan, you are only three weeks old. It is far too early to be proclaiming that this nightmare won’t come true, but so far so good. You are the picture of newborn health; pooping and peeing like a trooper. Thus far, everything works.
But I think about all the things that could potentially go wrong; Autism, MS, Leukemia, SIDS, Cystic Fibrosis or anything else that has a Telethon, and all I can do is crawl under my desk and stick my thumb in my mouth while rocking back and forth and humming with my eyes closed.
I am afraid – deeply afraid – that I wouldn’t be strong enough support you through something like that.
It keeps me up at night.