A few years ago my mom found the card they attach to the end of a baby’s crib in the the NICU. My dad had apparently saved in a small yellow softcover baby book with a stork on the front. I learned a few things when I saw that card. One: It is one thing for your parents to tell you that the preemie baby that grew up to be you was tiny, it’s another to see 17 inches in a stranger’s handwriting and realize that you really were smaller than most of the dolls you collect. Two: I didn’t realize that after delivery the cards on the cribs are given the mother’s last name by default, which may or may not be the same as the father’s Suffice to say the the name on the card wasn’t either of the ones I’d expected so it through me for a loop until mom explained.There is nothing like learning a previously unknown detail of your birth story! I also learned that my dad wasn’t present at my birth, I don’t hold it against him, I WAS early after all and he was out of state apartment hunting for the soon – to -be three of us. I’m sure that had I arrived on time he would have been there.The relationship between us hasn’t always been easy. I think he relates more comfortably with my younger sister which may have something to with the fact that she is able and I’m not or nothing at all. I do know a few things though. When mom found the baby book with the crib card she said, “Here, there’s something in there your dad saved from the day you were born.” When I got my hand cycle ( think of a Big Wheel you power with your arms instead of your legs) he sat in the driveway and put it together for me the same as I watched him do with my sister’s bikes over the years.When I rode it the first time he cheered just as much ( if not more ) as if I were six with my first big kid bike and no training wheels even though I was closer to twenty six.
Dad works grocery. he has seen countless people, mostly women bring their toy sized dogs into the store with them. Every time he sees this he asks them if the animal is a service and waits for a no or the blank stare that means they have no clue what service dog is before politely asking them to leave.I’m pretty sure that before I became obsessed with idea of getting one at the age of thirteen he didn’t know that much about them .
We may not always communicate as clearly with each other as we’d like to, but I’ve seen the things you do Daddy, I love you too.