I think our boy is courageous.
Of course there are challenges, and failures, and growing relationships with the unknown, but there have already been so many instances when I can say I’ve flat out admired him.
In utero, there was an Amniocentesis. I capitalize because the concept is large; is this human fetus healthy, and if not so, would we terminate its existence. WHAT?
But it had to be done. So there we are: my wife on the table, a smart, experienced, pregnant doctor determined to be great, a sweet foot-rubbing nurse whose husband is named Ruben, and a grizzled but delightful sono-tech perfectly suited to guide the way.
Oh, and there is our Rubin, impossibly small at 20 weeks, and about to have his world invaded with something epically foreign. It’s a big needle, and on the screen as we watched, it stretched from top to nearly bottom.
On that screen is our son, lower left corner, clearly living, pulsating; is that twitching? And as the needle suddenly inhabits his sensory radius he lunges for it. And again, reaches for it aggressively, directly. We do something between squeal and shriek. “It’s fine” says Dr. McDonald. It happens a lot, and even if it pricked him and cut his skin, she’s seen it before to no ill effect.
My boy doesn’t cower in the corner. He doesn’t freeze with concern. He swings his arm for that enormous needle. He looks like a bear swiping at salmon a foot below the surface. He is dominant, and determined.
His pure instinct has progressively been interpolated by me to read as “Hey! What are you!? Can I use you? What can you teach me? What are you doing here?”
Be that unafraid of strange interlopers my son. You are strong, and sweet, and kind, and worthy of trust. You will not be trifled with.
And he continues to be courageous. We swim together every week. Saturday mornings are ours. There is adoration for my wonderful wife for making it happen, and now for staying away. She is of course welcome, but knows the value in what it is.
We swim, him and me. We swim along with 14 or 15 other parents and their young. He is currently the littlest, undoubtedly among the cutest, and he is remarkably unafraid. We sit on the edge, and sing Humpty Dumpty, then take off for the other end of the pool, and he kicks with delight most of the way. We walk in a circle together, Rubin submerged to his shoulders as often as he can take it.
He likes it. He trusts me. It is the highlight of my week.
I knew I’d love him, and knew I could and would be proud of him. What I didn’t see coming is that admiration. I think our son is cool.