Last year, at around this time, my sweet daughter burst onto the scene a month early and a few pounds light. She was small enough not to register on the all-knowing-growth-charts and, after a time, the docs diagnosed her as “failure to thrive.” Personally, I wish they had said something like “look, your kid is small – that’s something we’re going to watch.” Nope – two months in and I’ve failed to thrive my child.
So, I spent the better part of her first months using a 1 mL syringe pressed against my finger to slowly inject formula into her bottom-fifth-percentile mouth. Since we were trying to keep her on the breast as long as possible (my wife’s, not mine), we didn’t want to use a bottle for fear of nipple confusion. We decided knuckle-sucking was the best way to give her the prescribed formula and still keep her sucking on mom. It worked, but her every-two-hourly feedings certainly soaked up time for anything else, especially writing. Once she was eating and sleeping better I was in the swells of another school year, where time is always scarce.
As a result, I haven’t written here in nearly a year. And for that, I am not sorry. I enjoy telling stories and the art of crafting an excellent sentence, but I do not and will not ever love it. At least not in the way I love my hero of a wife who needs a break when I come home from work and my darling baby girl (who just spit out a mouthful of egg yolk on the floor). Though the arrival of my daughter took up the time I used to have for writing, she did not take it away – I gave it away. I’ve loved every crying-laughing-burping-pooping-screaming-cuddling-squeeling-waving-crawling-lick-kissing minute of it. I will still. Hopefully I can manage a tale or two this summer, but, if not, I’ll be building rainbow-block towers for my tiny godzilla to raze.