Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Waiting Game - PM Style

Smarty Pants blogged last Friday about her waiting game Some years ago I was playing my own waiting game. I was pregnant with child #2 (back in the dark ages we didn't know the sex ahead of time unless you had amniocentesis and I didn't need to have it done). My original due date had been in mid May. Then at about five months they did an ultrasound because the dates and measurements didn't match, and they shaved three weeks off my due date and set it at April 24.

On April 5 I had an office visit and the nurse practitioner told me she'd be surprised if I lasted another week. The next week, on April 12, the doctor checked me, told me to go on to the hospital and we'd have a baby. I was fully effaced and five centimeters dilated without being in labor.

After a four-hour labor, #2 son came into the world weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces. Then the unexpected happened. He began having breathing troubles and was diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia. If you remember when I blogged about #1 son, he was a preemie. I was excited I'd made it to 38 weeks, which the doc considered full term. Then this. So we had a week of NICU before we could bring him home.

There's a rumor that parents don't take as many photos of the second child. That rumor is true. Heck, you have an older child to take care of, and in my case, the DH had to go out of town when the baby was three weeks old. I used my time to sleep and eat, not take photos.

I do have this one of him at Christmas where he was eight months old and had twice that many chins. I figured we had a future linebacker on our hands.

He thinned out a little as he got older, but he was still short and solid as you can see in this photo. I'm not sure of the date but he's probably about three years old. That red thing around his neck is his Superman cape. Until I made it for him, he wore my apron around his neck. The cape should have been a sign that one day he'd be faster than a speeding bullet.

His older brother had started running in cross country races for kids and some local road races. #2 son wanted to run too. We never told him he wasn't built like a runner. We just let him run and darned if he didn't start winning races. Here he is at 5 1/2 years old with his first place trophy from the Turkey Trot One Mile Run. At age six he set an Alabama state record for the 5K distance that stood until a year or so ago. And when he set that record, he broke the old one by more than ten minutes.

Here he is in 1996 at the Olympic Games in Atlanta. As a thirteen-year-old, he was showing real promise as a runner and had already been called up by the high school cross country coach to run with the varsity team. We were blessed to have a friend who worked for the Atlanta Olympic Organizing Committee and gave us tickets to track and field events.

Fast forward to the summer before his senior year in high school and our trip to Alaska. I spent a small fortune hiring a fishing guide and buying a fishing license with a salmon stamp. But it was worth every penny (and every mosquito bite) to watch him grin after he hauled in this forty-pound salmon. It was good eating too.

He graduated from high school and accepted a track scholarship to mine and the DH's alma mater. Isn't he a cutie?

And while he was in college he racked up an impressive number of wins including several conference titles. Here he is, front and center, running in the Penn Relays. What I wouldn't give for thighs like that. Neither the DH nor I run; we've always claimed the boys' running ability was a genetic mutation.

This, however, is my all-time favorite photo of him. It was snapped as he crossed the finish line at the Alabama High School Outdoor Track Meet on the campus of the University of Alabama. You can see his time in the background. His arms are raised in victory because was the Alabama 6A one mile champion. He'd chased that goal for four years of high school and his determination led him to the victory stand.

He started graduate school in January and is working toward a Master's Degree in Physical Education. This fall he will officially be an assistant coach working under his old college track coach, and his goal is to one day have a college team of his own to guide toward a conference championship. I have no doubt he'll be one heck of a coach.

His birthday isn't until Saturday, but happy birthday #2 son. You've always had the eye of the tiger and you've made us so proud.


P.S. Lori's winner from yesterday is catslady! Email Lori to claim your prize.

P.P.S. I got an advance birthday present yesterday in the form of two contracts from True Romance. Both stories will be in the July issue. That makes four stories and three short articles I've sold to the Trues this year. I still have four short features and three stories in their slush piles. Additionally, I had a scene on my hard drive that I wrote for a contest a few years ago and after reading Smarty Pants's submission to Nocturne Bites, I thought maybe if I expanded the scene and added a woo-woo element, it might work for Nocturne Bites too. So I've jumped into the world of vampire romance and have been doing online research along with picking up a couple vampire romances at the store yesterday. I may be asking for vampire advice before long.


Problem Child said...

Running? I do not run--and when I do, I look like a spaz.

Happy b-day #2Son!

birdzilla said...

Congrats on your wonderful son and your writing achievements. I know you must be very proud of both.

As for running, no way (unless being chased by a bull. Too much work.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your son's story and the photos. I know you are so proud and you should be.

You did good!

Pat L.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

PM, that was so wonderful! No wonder you're a writer. :)

I like to run (and I hate it). It's the best natural slimmer there is. It's also torture. At my best, I was up to 9 miles a week. Not a lot, I know, but a lot for me. My proudest moment was running the 8K Aloha run in Hawaii. Again, not a lot for a seasoned runner, but quite the accomplishment for me!

Congrats on the sales, Happy B'day to #2 son, and I'll let you know when I pick my jaw up over the vampire thing. *g* (I just don't picture you writing about vampires.....) :)

Jen said...

PM, that was just a lovely, lovely tribute to your son. And my big take-away is "What if they'd told him he wasn't built like a runner?"

And congrats on the sales!!

Instigator said...

Yeah, I'm not much of a runner. My knees start bothering me the moment I try.

Happy Birthday to #2 son!


terrio said...

What a great story. I barely trot so I give beaucoup props to runners. You have a lot to be proud of there. With all the bad news and negative stories we hear everyday, it's nice to hear one of the positive ones for a change.

Happy Birthday to Son #2 and good luck in the future. And congrats on the Trues stories. I'm sure with your determination, you'll have those vamps in hand with no problem.

Playground Monitor said...

LOL Lynn! You'd probably be less surprised to hear I'd run off and joined the circus.


Angel said...

Happy Birthday, #2 Son! PM, you are blessed in your children!

Congrats on the True Romance sales! You are doing awesome.

I certainly don't run. My chest has always been big and I'm afraid I might hurt myself bouncing down the road. :)


Smarty Pants said...

I wish I could see the pictures. Darn firewall. :(

Running...yeah. I did that back in PE when the teacher would bark at us. I actually clocked a 6 minute mile in 7th grade once when I was in a skinny phase. Since then, not so much. My family has a tradition of knee replacement surgery around age 65. I think the less running, the better for me.

Lynn Raye Harris said...

PM, it's true, I would. :)

SP, squats. They will build knee strength. Sounds contrary to good sense, but it's true. Strength training is good for the bones and joints (unless you're trying to be Ms Olympia or something).

Kathy said...

Happy Birthday, (early) to your #2, PM! I enjoyed reading your blog post!!!

I've been at a Tennis tournie all day. #3 won Cty in #1 doubles!!! Yay!

Vampire? That's so totally cool, PM. Go for it!!

catslady said...

Happy Birthday #2 son :)

And thanks so much for the win!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to you. ?? years (I won't give away your secret) ago today you were a real pain in the ---!

What do you mean you didn't run? When you were just a kid you could outrun every boy in your Grandmother's neighborhood (and they did not like it.)

Your Mother