Well, another week is in the books, and for the most part, things have gone really well for Jackman. He has been getting better and better, every day. He is off all the pain medication and they are slowly weaning him off the methadone. He finally has no tubes or tape in his face anymore, which made for some nice Christmas pictures. Also, he is still in a private room in NICU (but I think he misses the party life out on the floor).
We had a really good time on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. We got a lot of holding time and a little more playtime in. Granted, this wasn't the "First Little Family Christmas" we envisioned... But I'm not so sure that it wasn't even better.
On Christmas Eve, we had dinner at Zaxby's. The girl working the register was disgusted to see us because they were getting ready to close, but it's their own fault for being open, and putting addictive chemicals in the hot sauce. Lisa told me she was tempted to say "do you think we really want to eat here on Christmas Eve?", but of course she didn't. Just the thought of her saying it was funny enough for us to forget that they had probably spit on our food for keeping them open.
We spent the rest of the evening at Children's with Jackman. We just took turns holding him and trying to make him smile. We actually spent a lot of time just looking at him. It was nice just catching up on some lost time.
We came right back to the hospital Christmas morning to see Jackman. We gave him some presents. He's got a lot of books to read now. He seems to really dig the Dr. Suess books. I've had fun reading them to him. Most of the time Lisa reads and I turn the pages. I read the Mother Goose book that Lisa's folks got for him. It has some amazing pictures in it, but I have to say some of those nursery rhymes are very disturbing. For instance, you've got a girl that looses all her sheep and apparently could care less, a boy jumping over an open flame, three men in a tub together, and a single mother of at least a dozen kids that she beats and neglects to feed. Needless to say I had a lot of fun reading those to him and adding a little color commentary. (note to the grandparents - he loves that book).
We had to leave at 2:00pm for shift change, so we went to Lisa's brother's house to eat and hang out with family. But we just couldn't resist coming right back up to the hospital again. We came back and just visited with him until visiting time was over.
It turned out to be a really good Christmas. With Jackman in the hospital, things actually seemed slower and more relaxed than a "normal" Christmas. We never got caught up in all the usual hustle and bustle. We had a simple plan... visit our boy. All of our family understood completely, and we were under no obligation to do anything or to be anywhere.
Christmas Eve, after we got home, we watched The Nativity Story. We watched it last year, and it really got Lisa's attention in a different way because she was pregnant at the time. This year, it got my attention in a different way because I'm a new father. There is a part where Joseph confides in Mary when they are talking about raising the Son of God, and he remarked "I wonder if I will be able to teach him anything?". For the first time ever, this year, I realized that Joseph didn't mean things like how to throw a curve ball or ride a bike. He meant spiritual things. That gave me pause.
I wonder the same thing, but for different reasons. I never thought I would say this, but the world is a different place now than when I grew up. You don't have to look past your nose to find uncountable obstacles to raising Christian children in a Christian home. It seems hopeless. But before I can even get started good on that train of thought, I am reminded of the other impossible things I've already seen God make light work of. He has done wonders in mine and Lisa's and Jackman's lives that are beyond any explanation but this: He is in control of ALL things. That gives me hope and confidence in raising a godly son in a godly home, no matter how bad things may get.
I'm excited about the future. I'm actually looking forward to the day when my son will ask me one of those tough questions like: What happens when people die? I'm ready for that one. He's already got that inquisitive, deep-in-thought look about him. I may get one of those questions sooner than I think... actually, I can probably count on it.
...know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.