Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Porkchop

I can not believe it has already been a whole year since Parker emerged from Erika's womb to brighten our lives:

And make Sarah a big sister:

If you will pardon the cliche, I remember it like it was yesterday. Erika went into a molasses-speed labor two days before her scheduled C-section, and after a long, overnight back-and-forth about whether to wait until the scheduled time or go ahead and "do it now," the latter was decided upon in the pre-dawn hours of June 22, 2011.

But as I stood near Erika's head in the OR, just like I had done when Sarah was delivered by C-section seven years earlier, an unusual problem popped up. The local anesthetic, which was being administered by epidural injection, did not work. Erika could feel the doctor and nurses touching her and that did not change even after more time was allowed for the anesthetic to distribute to the key nerves. Perhaps this was because an old back injury was affecting the anesthetic's ability to distribute to the places it needed to reach, but regardless of the reason, the decision was made to put her under general anesthesia.

I was rushed out of the OR and down the hall, left to wait nervously outside one of those "authorized personnel only" doorways you always see in hospitals. I will never forget the feeling of my lips turning up in a smile when I finally heard Parker cry in the distance, letting me know he had safely arrived.

Here we are when we left the hospital a few days later to head home:

Within a few days of Parker's birth, Sarah gave him a nickname that will stick with him forever: Porkchop. And the past year has brought countless precious moments and memories -- not to mention a rash of fine photographs. This one was taken when he was only five days old, by the inimitable Kelly Noel:

And here he is on his very first Christmas morning:

One of Parker's cute traits is that he uses his middle finger, rather than his index finger, to point at things and touch them. Two months ago, that same inimitable Kelly Noel captured him doing just that on a sidewalk at the University of Tampa:

His first word was "egg," but the one he uses most often is "eat" -- and oh my God, does the kid love to eat! Maybe it's a boy-girl thing, but I don't remember Sarah ever eating anywhere near as much as he does.

Maybe this is a boy-girl thing too: Compared to how Sarah was when she was a baby, Parker is freakin' relentless. If Sarah wanted to crawl to something she wasn't allowed to crawl to, she could be redirected within only a few tries, but Parker will keep doggedly crawling back to the forbidden fruit until you surrender or put him to bed.

When he looks at ceiling fans that are turned on, he loves to swish his hand in a "round and round" motion...but when it comes to ceiling fans that are turned off, he stares at them with a look of puzzlement and sometimes gets upset.

And he loves to smile! But he is also very high maintenance, at least compared to Sarah, because he will not stay self-involved in anything for more than ten minutes before starting to demand our full attention.

And no matter what, all of these observations make me smile. I only wish he would stop growing so fast.

I love you Porkchop! In closing, here we are this very evening:


Betsy from Tennessee said...

What a fabulous blog post... I loved it --and loved seeing the pictures of your family. The Porkchop is adorable--just like his big sister...

That last shot is priceless. Frame it.


Barb said...

Parker Porkchop - what a cutie. I can't believe it's been a year either! Enjoy every minute with him and with Sarah - two of your main blessings John.