The following is one of the posts I wrote for my wife’s website, www.thespohrsaremultiplying.com, during Maddie’s ten-week stay in the NICU.
Now that I am in my thirties each birthday sort of freaks me out about how old I’m getting. Two days ago I turned thirty-two which staggered me a little. Thankfully I know a lot of people who are even older than me, so before I got out of bed I focused on them. “Okay, old sport,” I thought (for some reason I refer to myself as “old sport” in my interior monologue), “I may not be so young anymore, but our brother in law Sheridan is turning forty this year! Now that…THAT is old. Not thirty-two!” These thoughts brought a smile to my face and I was able to get out of bed. (Note: If you’re reading this, Sheridan, I’m just, uh, kidding. Forty is young and you are still really vibrant!)
I also had a smile on my face thanks to Madeline…every day that goes by she gets better and I am incredibly lucky for the way things turned out with her. Madeline’s health is really the best gift I could’ve hoped for on my birthday. Of course, while Maddie’s health was indeed the best gift, that doesn’t mean I didn’t want any lesser gifts. I did. I’m shallow that way. Thankfully, Heather came through with a subscription to see all the Warriors games on TV, an awesome wallet with a digital camera in it (so I can force strangers on the street to look at grainy photos of my baby), and a cool music recording thing that only Fish would be interested in hearing more about. My parents also got me some nice sweaters, my sister and brother in law sent down some goodies, and we went to the Warriors/Lakers game!
The best gift came via Madeline, however, and it was in addition to her health! I know, you’re totally thinking “What more could that little baby possibly give other than working her tiny ass off to get healthy? Well, as the infomercial announcer would say, “But, wait. There’s more!”
The gift from Maddie was waiting for me when I went to see her in the NICU that morning. Maddie was all wrapped up in a blanket, and Heather told me that the nurse had said I could change her diaper (Maddie’s, not Heather’s…Heather doesn’t wear a diaper. That is for older people…like Sheridan.) So I unwrapped Maddie from the blanket and saw that she was wearing a onesy that said “Daddy’s Girl” across the front! It was so sweet. I don’t even know how she got it. I really didn’t expect anything from her what with her being in the hospital and all. She must have done on-line shopping or something. Anyway, it was wonderful, and I now totally get the whole thing where parents say the best gift they got for their birthday or whatever is the crappy cup their kid made at school. Once you have a kid everything they do is awesome, and not even Bill Gates with all of his technological mojo could put together an I-whatever that could make a parent love it more than a gift from their kid, even a crappy cup. By the way, if you think I’m being crass by calling the cups kids make crappy, take a look at one. It is crappy. They’re all crappy. They’re made by nine year olds. If the cup is awesome, get the kid who made it into pottery school.
Seriously though, it was amazing. Maddie is amazing. Such a little fighter. Hopefully Heather will use her computer expertise to put up a picture of her in the “Daddy” outfit. As an older person all these computer thingees confound me.