Thursday, November 26, 2015

Sprayed by Sneezes & Giving Thanks

Earlier this week I found myself crouched on one knee helping Master Blackwell put on his boots. He was seated in a stool, passively helping me as it were.

Some variation of this act fits its way into our routine each and every day. If it's not me helping with the boy's shoes, it's Mrs. Blackwell. I usually get breakfast ready. Mrs. Blackwell often gets an outfit together for the boy.
About ten minutes after the new boy was born.

In between, we try to wedge in all the tasks we need to complete to begin our own days. It can be a frantic, mad rush. The best way to ease that stress is to prepare the night before. But, really, sometimes ya just want to go to bed.

I'm sure this sounds familiar to some of you. This — or your own particular version of it — is life.

Being that we've now got our new little guy along for the proceedings, we're still charting what our new routine is. For now, it's one-on-one coverage. Mrs. Blackwell takes the "new boy," I get "the boy."

There are invariably hiccups along the way. Which brings me back to the other morning.

I was almost ready to leave for work. I'd already made about 30 round trips to the garage ferrying the day's compulsories out to the car and departure was imminent, except for the boots.

They were a bit of a struggle. I didn't want to just ram his little foot inside it but, anything less wasn't doing the trick. So, the struggle was for juuuuust the right amount of pressure.

So, I fiddled with the boots, moving one way, then adjusting them and moving the other.

Then it happened.

The boy drew in a large breath. From my position knelt at his feet, I looked up in time to see him hold his breath, close his eyes and pause.

I knew what was coming but, for some reason, I didn't turn away.

As soon as I recognized what was to come, the boy delivered. Specifically, he unleashed a vicious sneeze the contents of which sprayed directly into my face.

I closed my eyes and quickly realized this was going to set me back a couple minutes. I could feel it — everywhere.

Upon opening my eyes, I noticed my son had moved his attention back toward something on the table.

My wife, on the other hand, sat across from me with her eyes fixed on me, a huge grin plastered on her face.

"Did you see that?" I asked, knowing with certainty that she had.

Daddy's little mucas machine.
She laughed.

"You should see your hat," she said.

"My hat? What about my face?" I replied.

I went to the nearby mirror and it was as I feared. Wet crumbs of waffle, flecks of peanut butter and strawberry jam speckled across my face. And, Mrs. Blackwell was right, my winter hat had a layer of the stuff too.

I went to the bathroom to clean my face. But, anything short of a shower wasn't going to suffice. So I got a wet cloth and spot cleaned my face and hat, and moved quickly to work..

This is life now. It's not always clean, occasionally it's downright gross and, more often than not, it's nothing if not funny.


Mrs. Blackwell and I are extremely fortunate in that we've got loving families and great friends that make our lives richer in every way.

No more has that been apparent than in the last couple of weeks. From the moment Mrs. Blackwell's folks arrived here just days before the new boy's arrival and straight through today, we've been the beneficiaries of a stream of thoughtfulness and generosity.

First, Mrs. Blackwell's folks looked after the boy while we were in the hospital. This is a job that they no doubt enjoyed but, really, we would have been up the creek without their help. "Thanks" is insufficient but, it's also all I've got at my disposal. So, I'll say it again to them:"Thanks so very much." They also left our fridge stocked and even included some fantastic beer.)

Thankful for the moments when he's not angry. Fortunately,
those angry moments are rare. He's a good little sleeper too. 
We had friends drop by the hospital to visit Mrs. Blackwell and help her maintain her sanity during that 3.5 day hospital stay wherein the existence of the outside world was reduced to rumor. All the folks from my department at work threw a party for us and chipped in for a generous gift. Mrs. Blackwell's mates from work sent us a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

Another couple of our good friends dropped by the house with new baby clothes,  a huge, delicious lunch and some wonderful company for a few hours.

Another friend drove two and a half hours and stayed for the night. In her short stay, she bought us groceries, cooked us dinner, cleaned our kitchen and, in general, was just great company. She too left beer behind for us. (This includes beer I bought for her so, Andie, if you're reading this, I've still got your beer. Come back and get it any time.)

Earlier this week, my brother flew 1,000 miles to come and help out for a couple days. (And, because he doesn't read this space often, I'll let you know I'm going to "thank" him by letting him help me put up Christmas decorations.

Yes, the season to be especially thankful began a bit earlier than usual and, for that, what else can we be but thankful.

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