You find yourself cleaning the blood off sheets at 3:00 AM.
G and I were jolted awake by screams of, not so much bloody murder, but bloody nose. This is the kid’s third early morning blood nose. Poor little guy. Although it wasn’t such a bad one, it has to be incredibly scary for a four-year old to experience.
I’m amazed how quickly the protection/parental instincts kick into action. Without a word, G and I swept into action: Stop the bleeding, replace the sheets, change pajamas, calm the kid…and back to sleep. Well, at least he went back to sleep. At that point, part of the protection/parental instinct thing is to keep one ear open, which, of course, removes any chance of actually going back to sleep.
I never really thought that I would have kids. They were always something that annoyed me on airplanes. If a family walked by with a baby, I was far more apt to notice the dog. So, even now, after four years, I’m kind of surprised at how natural it feels to “be dad.”
In my professional life, I used to produce an annual college basketball doubleheader. After seven years, I had the even fairly dialed in. The rush came on game day. Without fail, we’d have one or two or 10 great fires to put out. The quick thinking and reactions (trained or innate) were something to look back on with pride. I think that kind of goes for the parenting thing too.
I don’t want K-Man to suffer or need any kind of emergency response from me (and G). But, I’m certainly glad to know that we can do it when called to action.