The tongue depressor

I was in the elevator this afternoon with two coworkers. The other two, both bachelors, were having a conversation about their friends who are parents. The gist of the conversation was, “Once you become a parent, you live, eat and breathe your children.” They went on to reflect on their respective social lives and how children have dramatically effected their friends. My understanding of the conversation was that neither of them were ready to contemplate having children. It was then that I chimed in and said, “I have a nine-month-old daughter.” One stated, “So, you know what it’s like!” To which I responded, “Yep.” And then went on to say something that I heard from Janeen years ago. “…And I couldn’t imagine life otherwise.”

On Saturday Elise went to brunch with her girlfriends and they all worked on baby books. Maly and I hung out most of the day. I did something to make Maly laugh and I saw what looked like a tooth poking out from her lower front gums. I put my finger in her mouth and, sure enough, she had cut her first tooth. I picked her up and we ran around the house while I gleefully celebrated a tooth. I was so proud at that moment and Maly giggled as I ran and her hair blew back. Even though she’s not consciously responsible for this milestone, I was so proud of her. A tooth meant that she can start eating real solid food. During lunch I started having visions of my daughter wanting to help me cook. The wheel starting turning and I smiled as I thought about my baby growing up.

This morning we took Maly for her nine month check-up. She passed with flying colors and I was really proud of that as I hadn’t been to a Maly check-up in six months. I was so proud that I took the tongue depressor that the physician’s assistant used with Maly. I kept it in my pocket today and clutched with my left hand while in the elevator this afternoon as I listened to my coworkers’ conversation.

And it’s so very true… I wouldn’t have it any other way. I couldn’t imagine life otherwise. Maly means the world to me.

And I’m keeping that tongue depressor.

2 Replies to “The tongue depressor”

  1. And to think I still have everyone of your baby teeth Josh, in a little container. You thought you were so unique with the tongue depressor in your pocket on the elevator with the two guys with no kids. Some moms, namely me are just as setimental and I’m proud of you for that. Love you!

  2. I read a great deal of writing. Every single day.. I read numerous poems… famous, infamous and just plain terrible, struggling “please let me tell you this” type writers, but I have to say my friend… I come back to your site all the time. What I hope look for, hope for, dig for, in the writing I publish is honesty, sincerity and heart… this last entry has all of that. That makes it unjudgeable and purely terrific.

    Good work… the heart can do no wrong.

    I wish we hung out more.

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