We'd planned to take the imp to the zoo last weekend for his birthday; that fell through. Saturday dawned bright and clear...and cold. Frost on the ground until 8:00 cold. And windy. It didn't quite get into the sixties. Yesterday was only a little better.
Today would have been perfect. Unfortunately, the imp is in school today, and if we left right after we picked him up...we'd get there right as the zoo closed.
So, the zoo trip will have to be postponed indefinitely. Thankfully, neither Odysseus nor I had mentioned it within the kids' hearing.
On this morning, six years ago, right about this time, I was standing in the NICU, petting my son's back. He'd been born right around four hours earlier, and wouldn't come home when I did. I was frightened, bitter, and very, very angry that things hadn't worked out normally. He was born before the swallow reflex was developed, so he had a tube to feed him running through his nose and down his throat. And he had an umbilical IV hooked up--I could only touch him, couldn't hold him. He was so, so tiny: 18" long, and 3 pounds, 13 ounces.
But he was breathing on his own. He was alert, strong, and curious about his surroundings. He came into the world attempting to charm his nurses (and succeeding), and has stayed alert, strong, curious, and charming.
I stood him up against the wall, last month, and marked his height: 47". Last night, he found the scale and weighed himself--42 pounds. And every ounce of that is solid muscle: no ribs to be seen, despite how skinny he is.
He's grown so much, and is beginning to read.
But it was only yesterday that I was standing next to his warming crib in the NICU, petting a tiny, tiny, tiny little back, and trying to keep him from kicking off the blood oxygen monitor wrapped around his foot.
5 minutes ago