Friday, June 05, 2009

Free Floats

Two years ago Sonic's free float night heralded the eve of the worst week of our lives, though we wouldn't know it until the morning.

Chloe and Claire were two weeks old and it was the first night of the NBA Finals. Erica and her mom were out and I was settling down to eat dinner and watch the game between feedings. Looking back on that night, I wish I had spent more time with the girls, but I don't know what I might have done differently.

It was time for them to sleep, so I moved them to their room where it would be a little quieter. Looking back, I'm sure that Chloe was already ill by now, but a call to the doctor's office resulted in a wait-and-see response, because she had no symptoms other than not eating well. Would I have noticed anything sooner if I had kept them in the living room? Probably not, but I still feel like I didn't do my job.

These are the thoughts that were the first to spring to mind when I heard the ad on the radio. I ought to think, "Free root beer float! Mmmmm, I know where I'll be tonight." Instead I knew where I wasn't going to be. I didn't have the heart to go, and couldn't even get excited about tasting one. It's strange how something as insignificant as free float night is now inextricably linked to such a significant time in my life.

Claire is now two years old and knows that going to Sonic means she's going to get an ice cream cone. She would have loved to get a float last night, but we didn't go. I have such pride in her when I look at her and realize that she's learned something new. We're actually able to have conversations. Admittedly I usually have to lead her through them, but she responds with a confident 'Yeah' to my questions. Now she's trying to use full sentences. Her face scrunches up as she's trying to get the words from her mind through to us. It's great, but I can't help thinking about how much better it would be if I could see it twice as often.

That worries me also. I don't want her to feel inadequate because she's the only one here. I hug her as much as I can, but I wonder if she's beginning to realize that something/someone is missing. Hopefully she'll tell us when she's able to communicate better. Yesterday she and I went to CiCi's Pizza for the first time. It was a good trip and she was well behaved as ever. I didn't even have to cut her pizza. I showed her how to hold it, and she learned and did the rest. Hopefully it's just the first of many daddy/daughter lunches.

Maybe we'll even get a chance to talk over root beer floats.


turdpolisher said...

Hang in there Mike. I know it's a tough time. We're thinking about you guys.

There is no manual to being a good father. We all make it up as we go along. You do what you can and hope it sticks.

Claire is luck to have a doting father like you in her life. Hug her all you like. It can never be too much.



p.s. Deacon Tommy still asks about you guys. Y'all are in all our prayers at SJV.

Oreo said...

Thanks. It means a lot. We're doing the same thing we did last year, except it's a bit more fun now that Claire isn't afraid of the water as much.

Tell Deacon Tommy "Hello" for us. We may make a stop in BR on Thursday, so give me a call and I'll see where we are and if we can stop to chat.

Anonymous said...

I think you were an amazing father to Chloe and you made her time here wonderful. Claire is lucky to have you for a daddy. Love you all!


Oreo said...

Thanks. I think you're doing a great job taking care of my sister out there in PDX, too.

Concord Carpenter said...


From following your blog I get the sense that your a great guy, good husband and amazing father.

I'm sure Claire will tell you that real soon too!

Hang in there, the pain never goes away it just dulls.

Focus on her....