The White Knuckle Grip

I knew I was going to be extra cautious driving the #BrunoBrothers home from the hospital. Yes, they finally came home!!!!! The nurse asked me how I was feeling that morning. Me with 2 empty car seat in hand, knowing they would be filled and a few pounds heavier in just a few hours said, I’m as giddy as dog in a biscuit factory.

The #BrunoBrothers ready for their 1st car ride.

The #BrunoBrothers ready for their 1st car ride.

As I carefully reinstalled, checked, and quadruple checked the car seats in the hospital parking lot, my lovely wife, Jenny was packing up our stuff upstairs. We said goodbye to the fountain where we spent just about every night since June 21st. (It’s a pretty spot at the hospital entrance). We said goodbye to some fantastic nurses that we were so grateful for. And we said goodbye to a chapter we were glad to finish.

I consider myself a very good driver (insert Rainman pun)… even though my lovely wife calls me the most distracted driver she’s ever driven with. I beg to differ. I’m usually well aware of the cars that are surrounding me. It was different this time. Yes, the white knuckle grip of death was surrounding my steering wheel. But as I was driving home, all my senses were fully alert. I could have recalled how many cars were on the road, their colors and model types. I’m exaggerating of course, but you know what I mean.

I’m guessing that’s my PDI – Protective Daddy Instinct, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.

It’s also me, trying desperately to remember each moment. Like the blue sky over the fountain, the smell of the hospital hallways, the smile each person gave as we walked down to the car, the idiot in the red Buick who was on his phone on I-630. Walking around the living room with Lucas and showing him his new backyard. The look of wonder on our dog’s and cat’s faces.

Jack is pretty excited about his new playmates.

Jack is pretty excited about his new playmates.

The look of pure joy on our faces. And the complete worry we felt when Elijah was having some trouble eating. We kept our wits, however. Found the culprit and made some adjustments. But you can bet we were white knuckling it.

Elijah says to skip the fuss and order a pizza!

Elijah says to skip the fuss and order a pizza!

See, that white knuckle grip isn’t just on steering wheels. We use it on life as well, because shit gets real scary sometimes. Including bringing 2 newborns home from the hospital. The thing I try to remember is to loosen up and let the blood flow back to my fingers.

I love my wife!

I love my wife!

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It feels like forever… and a day.

Gerry, Lucas, & Elijah

 

That’s what it feels like. To have your newborn babies here, but not actually home. My friend and coworker Joyce Smith said, “it’s like getting to open all your Christmas presents but not be able to play with them.” So true.
It also feels like limbo because we don’t have an end date. The doctors can’t tell us when the boys will be home because there are so many variables. So it feels like forever… and a day.

But they are doing great. Learning to feed is the last step. Once they can feed naturally 8 times in 24 hours they’ll be able to come home. Jenny, my lovely wife, and I commented on how empty our house feels, even though they haven’t been there yet. It feels like they should be.

So, in the meantime, we make the best of it.
We sing, we read, we dance. We try to be normal.

I look into their faces and blur the edgesf to create a new background. It’s like using green screen on a tv or film set, only with my imagination and voice. Instead of seeing their faces surrounded by wires, beeping machines, and fluorescent lighting, I imagine the beach and tell the boys how the water will chase their little toes while they squeak with delight. I tell them all about zoo and let them hear the great sounds of an elephant. I paint the picture of a hike in the woods and tell them about the birds we’re going to see. Then I show them the sunset and we just sit and watch, feeling the warmth on our skin.

Soon this WILL be our normal. Until then, my imagination and storytelling skills are getting some much needed excercise.

Feel free to comment on ways you cope with stress or feel free to share this post with someone you think may need it.