From the time Austin was a toddler, I kept notes in my day planner of little things my kids did and said, humorous comments I would have otherwise forgotten if not recorded. I continued until 1998 when I began logging them in a Word doc which was stored on an external hard drive to ensure the file was safe…and in 2004 the hard drive went bad. I started again, but with a six-year hole in my most precious document.
Valerie recently handed me a printout of an email she thought might be of interest, but I tossed it aside for a few days. During a free moment, I picked it up and my mind raced. It was the stories I had lost! Gone for FIFTEEN YEARS and now they were in my hands. Valerie happened to run across an email from 2004 (don’t ask) when I apparently sent the document to her prior to storing (frying) it on the external drive. It’s back!
For the first time in fifteen years, I’m sharing a sample of them here; the following are about Trenton, beginning when he was 4 1/2 years old, and the last three his teen years:
Oct. 4, 1998 – (Transplant kids get hair growth across the forehead, down the temples and neck to the shoulders and finally arms) I purchased a beard/mustache trimmer and shaved Trenton’s arm hair, after which he proudly went to Valerie, showed his arms and the trimmer, and said, “Daddy cuts my skin with it.” He then said to me, “Daddy, now cut the hair on my head, because it has holes in it.”
Nov. 30, 1998 - Valerie took Trent to the doctor and was pleased to hear he had gained 1 ½ pounds since June. Her happiness was tempered when she later found that Trenton had stuffed his pockets full of rocks.
May 14, 1999 - Valerie and I were discussing Trenton’s meeting with a speech therapist. Valerie explained that Trenton’s tongue is “lazy” and for that reason, he pushed it too far forward in his mouth. Trenton said, “Maybe God made my tongue too big.”
June 11, 1999 - Going to Cici’s, Valerie was encouraging Trenton to eat as much as he could, so he would grow bigger and not have to sit in the child seat. Trenton asked, “If I get bigger, will I still be five?”
December 26, 1999 - We were discussing my taking Trenton to the neurologist on Monday. After suggesting I first take him to get doughnuts for breakfast, Valerie told Trent how they would attach leads to his head and take pictures of his brain. Trenton said, “They will see doughnuts in my head.”
December 27, 1999 - I was driving Trent to Children’s Medical Center at 6:30 a.m., heading east on the highway when Trenton asked if it was night or morning. I told him that although still dark, it was now morning. I tried to expand the lesson by pointing out the hint of red and orange along the bottom of the horizon, and explaining it was the first sign of the sun soon to rise. Trenton asked, “Someday, can we get up early and drive to where the sun comes up and see it?”
Late December 2000 – Trenton had surgery on his left knee on the first day of Christmas vacation. He was in quite a bit of discomfort for the first few days. During one of his bouts with pain, Trent moaned and cried loudly. Allison, just 2 ½ years old, was still learning how to dispense sympathy. In the most caring voice she could muster, Allie told Trenton, “It’s not bleeding; it just hurts.”
September 17, 2007 – We were eating dinner when Val told me the allergy doctor reported that Trenton did not have enlarged adenoids. Trenton had a couple useless comments (he gets that from me), so Austin said, “Trenton, you are getting to be adenoying.” Allie therefore asked, “Is an adenoid someone who is talkative?”
Aug. 22, 2009 – Allie has been wearing a heart monitor for the past 20 hours. It got us on the subject of Val's family's heart condition and the time Trent spent in the hospital. When I told Allie we learned in the hospital that his heart was enlarged by 50% Allie said, “They should have given it to the grinch.”
March 22, 2014 – Trenton began the first of a handful of Friday night hospital stays in which he receives a 6-hour IV then returns home Saturday morning. Trent has become tired of the hundreds of needle sticks received over his twenty years, so when questioned about whether his religion required any special consideration while hospitalized, Trent answered, "Yes, before giving me any IV you must first sacrifice a goat."
EVERYONE – If there is one thing you get from this, I hope you will encourage young families to record those small moments. Share/email/post/tag this blog post as examples for those families. Also, please visit the Still Thankful page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dcstillthankful/), share a humorous story of your child and include the hashtag #StillThankfulForKids. Then tag at least three friends to do the same. Without much effort, we can bring some much needed humor to social media.
MEDICAL FAMILIES – These stories were selected specifically because they were connected to Trenton’s health. Notice the wonderful normalcy we can enjoy in spite of our children’s health problems, and despite how awkward/inappropriate/uncomfortable the rest of the world may feel about our humor, we’re still able to find humor in this way of life. While our challenges may be different from the “average” (then again, is anyone really average?), it doesn’t mean you can’t live a regular life.
For kids’ humor, which lightens life’s challenges, I’m Still Thankful.