Today on my Facebook feed was one of those “3 years ago today ” images. It was of little Luke and I snuggling on a hospital bed. I think I stopped breathing for a few seconds as I recalled that moment. His second heart surgery. 3 years ago today. He was almost 2 years old at the time. Time slows down in moments like this. Moments where you are so focused on life and love. Where these things are TRULY the only things that matter. I have experienced this twice in my life and both were the months and days leading up to Luke’s heart surgeries. I could never have soaked up enough of Luke and I am eternally grateful that those moments weren’t our last together.
Today that little boy lost his first tooth when we were at the library. I was standing in line, waiting to check out when Luke ran over with a bloody face. I had no idea what happened and he wouldn’t tell me. He just said, “Come see, come see, you have to come see.” I didn’t know what I was in for. Luke is a bit of a wild card. It could have been anything from he found a piece of red candy somewhere and thought it be a good idea to eat it to he ran into the corner of a book shelf and smeared blood all over the place. He took me over to an isle and pointed at the ground where his tiny little front tooth was laying. He says, “I just ran too fast and my tooth just fall out.” I think he fancies himself The Flash . . . he’s a super hero for all you parents of girls. Ha! I was so flustered. Having three kids at the library is a little intimidating as they are supposed to be quiet and calm. Having one come up to you with a bloody face is just about every mom’s worst nightmare. When I saw that little tooth on the ground, I stopped, knelt down and gave my sweet, crazy boy a huge hug and a big high five. I can’t believe this almost 5 year old just lost his first tooth. What a joy, a treasure, an absolute miracle this boy is.
We left the library a little messier than when we arrived. Not with blood (thank goodness) but with books and stuffed animals. I didn’t remember to clean any of this up until I got to the parking lot. I had to just let it go. I couldn’t drag them back in there and they’d probably just make more mess anyway. I had to try not to care about what the librarians and other patrons who saw my bloody faced boy and heard my baby screaming (mostly happy screams while her brother entertained her) would say. Because today was a big day for us. It was the anniversary of a fantastic, scary, life-saving day. It was the celebration of a milestone.
A bloody face at the library was really nothing at all.
Notice he is in super hero garb with matching walkie-talkie attached to his collar. In fact, a few minutes ago he changed and came out saying, “I put my pajamas on” . . .
Notice the necklace that Luke is holding. It’s a “Beads of Courage” necklace. You get a bead for every procedure that you go through as a heart patient – every ultrasound, EKG, hospitalization and surgery. The necklace is probably 2.5 feet long and we filled it up pretty quickly. By his second surgery, it was full.
This boy was smiling just days after surgery.
If you want to read more about Luke’s second surgery, I kept a blog during that time. Check it out.