The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

A Big Week For A Little Kid: Day/Year 2 to 3 …
December 8, 2020, 7:30 am
Filed under: Dad, Daddyhood, Family, Fatherhood, Jill, Love, Mum & Dad, My Fatherhood, Otis, Parents

So as I wrote yesterday, this week is dedicated to Otis because on Friday, he turns 6.

This post is all around this photo.

This was the moment Otis was handed to his Mum after his operation.

We had flown to Australia for this treatment because even though we lived in Shanghai – we were told there was a hospital in Sydney that specialised in the procedure he needed.

We had flown in a couple of days before so he could see his Gran and cousin and all he knew was he was having a whale of a time. This was good as we wanted that more than anything.

The night before he was being admitted, the hospital told us he should not eat and we should try to keep him awake as late as possible. While the evening went well with time spent at the park near our place in Balmain …

… things quickly took a turn for the worse when we had to deny him food.

While we knew it was for his own good, it was so hard – especially as he didn’t take it very well – and it made Jill and I even more anxious than we were already.

We didn’t sleep the whole night and were grateful when 6am rolled by as it meant that was the time we could leave our hotel in the City and drive him to the hospital.

Fortunately Otis was so exhausted he was asleep for the entire journey and that removed some of the tension that was in the air.

The check-in was fine and the doctors told us what they were going to do and then they asked if we could help them administer the general anaesthetic. In essence, they wanted one of us there so Otis would feel calm as they placed a mask over his face.

I couldn’t do it …

I wish I could, but the whole thing triggered the experience I had with Mum a year earlier when she had the operation that so sadly failed, so instead, my wonderful, beautiful, compassionate Jill went in.

She came back very upset and I remember being so worried, but she told me it was all fine – it was just the sight of seeing our son be put to sleep that had deeply affected her.

I can’t imagine how hard that must have been.

To put your child in a position where they are intentionally losing consciousness must be against every instinct a parent can have.

We then spent the next couple of hours trying to be calm while secretly shitting ourselves. Of course, compared to many parents – what we were going through was nothing. When I think back to all the challenges Andy and Maria had to deal with, with Bonnie, I feel embarrassed to admit how worried we were … but we were so you can imagine the relief we felt when Otis was brought back in and placed in his loving mum’s open arms.

Everything was fine.

The operation had been a success.

But nothing made me feel so at peace as when he was back in his Mum’s arms – watching the 2 people I love the most in the World be together. Providing each other with the comfort and love they needed to feel from each other.

I still love that photo, even though it commemorates a time that was very worrying for us.

It kind-of reminds me of the very first time Jill saw Otis.

He’d just been born in the hospital in Shanghai and the way she said, “Oh hello … you’re so beautiful”, when he was placed on her chest is burned in my mind.

Here she was, meeting the wonderful kid she’d been carrying around inside her for 9 months.

A child we had so dearly wanted.

It’s one of the greatest moments of my life and this photo reminds me of it.

The way she looks at him.

Wanting to see him while protecting him.

An instantaneous wave of the most intense love.

A calm voice to soothe him after his adventure.

The beginning of the next.

I always knew a child was a wonderful thing. I have always wanted them – I just wasn’t ready. And while I don’t regret that, I can say the experience is bigger and better than I ever imagined.

And while I am sure most parents feel this way about their kid.

This one is mine.

This is my Otis.

While I appreciate he hasn’t gone through as many challenges as other kids out there, he has faced his own version of them. Less medical and more emotional because his parents keep bloody moving country.

And while we were still living in Shanghai at that point, he gave me a big clue he was destined to take challenges in his stride, because 36 hours after the above photo was taken, he was at his grannies, like nothing had happened.

I love this kid more than I can ever properly convey.

Happy birthday for Friday son.

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