Terra Sigillata

I am not worthy

[Sort of a repost from the last two years, updated appropriately - APB]

Six years ago at 11:24 am EDT (1624 GMT), your humble blogger was handed the keys to a whole new vocabulary of love.

The gift came in the form of a 7 lb. 13 oz. (3,544 gm), 20.5 inch (52 cm) bundle of drooling, peeing, meconium-pooping bundle of baby girl, yanked from an incision in PharmGirl’s abdomen.

The lessons of compassion and unconditional love I have been taught by these two women have comprised the most formative experiences of my life.

In return, PharmGirl has suffered tremendous indignancies on my behalf: the necessary biological machinations required to mix haploid DNA following our post-9/11 sorrow gave way to fatigue and sickness that all but ruined our previously-planned vacations to Mexico and Key West.

Even the positive pee stick that greeted us on Christmas morning, 2001, could not make up for the suffering that lie ahead during weeks 25-38 of gestation in the unforgiving North Carolina summer heat. Not to mention her having to resubmit NIH grant applications, deal with the academic patriarchy, and care for family members and cancer patients of her own, all the while.

Perhaps the worst, however, was immediately following this nine months of constant discomfort: post C-section complications and the unanticipated loss of 1400 mL of blood that required twice-daily massage of her abdomen and uterus that had only been sliced open 24-48 hours earlier. Her collegiate athletic career could not provide adequate preparation for the pain I witnessed.

Gents, we men are not man enough to be women.

And my dear daughter, who must now be known to the blogosphere as PharmKid given her transition into first grade this past month – the one who proudly calls me Daddy – the one who wanted to go see Jeff Tweedy play two summers ago because, “he seems like a good daddy, too.”

This year, we seem to be more into Hannah Montana, Camp Rock, and the Jonas Brothers. However, I keep playing Marley, Coltrane, and Monk in the car – to keep laying the foundation.

I have never ever loved anyone or anything more than this girl. More surprisingly, to me at least, I had never known I was even capable of such a depth of emotion.

So, perhaps, just for today, I will put aside thoughts of my worthiness and just enjoy the gifts.

Happy Birthday….and thank you my sweet peas.

Comments

  1. #1 kevin z
    August 26, 2008

    the one who wanted to go see Jeff Tweedy play two summers ago because, “he seems like a good daddy, too.”

    You have the coolest 6 year old!! Congratulations, I have another 3 years till my little larvae start school. They are really into Swedish folk music (long live the Nyckelharpa!), Uncle Tupelo and whatever is on the local public radio station.

  2. #2 Chemgeek
    August 26, 2008

    Well said. I can relate to everything you said. It’s awesome.

  3. #3 Tara C. Smith
    August 26, 2008

    Yeah, 2 years later and this still makes me tear up. :)

  4. #4 anjou
    August 27, 2008

    Happy Birthday to Pharmkid!!!!

  5. #5 leigh
    August 27, 2008

    beautiful. congratulations.

  6. #6 Italo M. R. Guedes
    August 28, 2008

    Beautifully said, I know exactly what you mean, I’m a father of two baby boys and could never even think what real love is before they were born. A late happy birthday to your kid.

  7. #7 Abel Pharmboy
    August 29, 2008

    Many thanks, all – especially to Professor Guedes for his best wishes from Brazil and kindness in not making me have to translate from Portuguese. Congratulations to you on your babies as well.

    Tara, thanks for being my benchmark – I can’t improve upon the post and the sentiments are still the same, if not stronger.

    Kevin, we’ll have to get our little rockers together at the coast.

    Chemgeek, I read your post about refitting your Cornelius keg and realize I have a dormant one sitting downstairs from my brewing days. Easier to just buy some craft beer than brew but I sure miss the home biochemistry experiments.

    anjou, hope y’all are enjoying yourselves.

    leigh, hope the Ph.D. is going well.