Friday, March 11, 2011

A Nine-Month Pain-In-The-Back

            Joshua turned nine months old yesterday. As if to mark this grand occasion, I got a massive spasm in the mid-back that immediately incapacitated me and sent me hobbling off to the chiropractor.
            As I sat in the waiting room, I had an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu. When Celia had turned nine months, I’d done the exact same thing. She had crossed that invisible line overnight, suddenly becoming too heavy to lift in the same way. My body had protested by cramping up in the mid-back and forcing me to bend my knees when lifting her for months afterward. I’d told myself that if I were to be so blessed as to have a second child, I wouldn’t let it happen again.
            I sat in the waiting room and laughed. How foolish of me, to think that learning lessons the hard way and using common sense would be enough to prevent me from repeating the injury. It’s all a part of the initiation rites into the Secret Society of Fatherhood. It’s got to happen with every kid.
            I’m starting to think the nine-month mark is pretty significant. Joshua seems to be truly opening up these last couple of weeks. He’s crawling, exploring, eating by himself, and I swear he just said, “Da-Da.” It’s like he’s a flower that’s been growing and growing, and is just now starting to bloom.
            But unlike a flower, the kid is starting to weigh a ton. And where a flower likes to be planted in one location, the little guy always wants to be picked up and carried everywhere we go. In fact, with all this teething he’s been going through, he’s particularly needy. As soon as he sees me or Michelle he instantly crawls over to our legs, paws his way vertically till he’s awkwardly teetering on wobbly feet gripping our pant legs ferociously, and then he whines uncontrollably until he’s finally lifted.
            Carry him we must.
            Carry him we do.
            And carry ourselves off to the chiropractor.
            The inevitable cycle of life for a new parent. 

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