Sunday, August 30, 2009

I Hate Hospitals

For those who read this and know Dora, she did not have to go to the hospital. No one in my family has been in a hospital in a very long time.

But through the flow of life, I have spent quite a bit of time in hospitals. I have been in really fancy hospital rooms, with guest beds, a couch, many chairs...the rooms they reserve for the families of people who are dying. I have served my time sitting in ICU. I have held hands with the most precious people in my life in small private rooms...and watched as they "coded." I watched the 2000 summer Olympics in a hospital room with my wife going through pre-term labor. I kept watch over my 2 week old only natural child in a hospital room, grabbing 2 hours of sleep here and there, waking to the sound of alarms on monitors, medication, IVs, nurses and more nurses. I've held the line with my good friend, waiting for the surgical outcome for his toddler son.

I've followed the maps of the halls; ridden the elevators, purchased and eaten the food...and there is nothing like hospital their credit, they actually do a good job, most of them.

I've listened to doctors who cared, who were honest, who were concerned. I've listened to doctors who were an embarrassment to their profession.

I've spent my share of time in hospitals...and I hate them all.


People are honest in hospitals. Transparency is expected and accepted; a nod of familiarity among people who are staring into their own personal abyss. It's okay to cry in hospitals. It's okay to walk down the halls with tears on your face and Kleenex to your fact, there is honor in it. Everywhere else, we must wear the mask. "I'm okay, I'm tough, I'm in control of my emotions." But in the hospital, you aren't expected to be "in control."

I like that. I appreciate the acceptance. I tend to be transparent anyway, so...well, guys might cry once every two it's nice to be in a place where you have permission.

I hate hospitals...but I know I'll be back. And I'll be honest...because I won't have a choice.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The End of Innocence

My wife and I have been giving this some thought lately: the "birds and the bees" talk with our little one. I have never been one to be fearful of WHAT I say in that respect. I've learned to be pretty tactful over the years. What my primitive brain warns me about is that after the talk...she will not be the same. She'll know the BIG secret. I know that she learns about life every day and I have not yet found her to be shattered or markedly changed by anything she has yet discovered. Learning how babies are made will not be that different...though we are never quite the same once we learn that are we?

Dear Dora Diane,

Today, I write this too you as the innocent child who still believes that all babies somehow get placed in mommy's tummy because a mommy and a daddy pray real hard. You know that Daddy's have a role and that little sperms find the little egg and that that is the beginning of a baby. What you don't know we will have to share with you soon because, though I don't wish to be the one to shatter your is my job to ensure that you hear the truth from me first.

It is ironic we have already had a "bad word" talk. I didn't tell you about some of them because, though my father did a wonderful and gentle job of telling me about the birds and the bees, he told me at the same time as he taught me what the "f" word means. I think that colored my perception of what the Bible teaches is one of God's greatest gifts to humans: The union of man and woman.

So. We will have our talk about Mommy's and Daddy's and closeness. About how it is the ultimate gift from one to the other. About how it is reserved for marriage. About how it is more than just a physical it involves the spirit as well. And I will emphasize the points with gentle seriousness, hoping to make a lasting impression; because the pillars I am working to help you build, the world will very soon work to tear down.

From the world you will learn, for example; that your sexuality is for you to enjoy and share as you please. That reserving sex for marriage is an outdated concept and that actually, you and your boyfriends must learn if you are sexually compatible in the first place, before you get married. That it is just a physical act, that you can engage in it casually with no lasting effects. That everybody is doing it, and that you are uncool, or prude, or scared, or rude if you don't.

Yes. I am conservative in my beliefs, especially in this area. I am also an idealist...I have to be when I face the statistics that say you only have a 25% chance of taking purity into your marriage bed. (And less than that if we are praying for a husband for you who does the same.)

We have two more weeks until you start 3rd grade. From what I remember about third grade, I think it is time for you to know a bit more than you already do. Now it's just a matter of finding a time to talk to you...maybe in between your playing "talk animals" and watching re-runs of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.