I remember with palpable clarity, the delirious feeling of happiness at the birth of my first child. Unforgettable.
Relishing such joy seemed almost selfish. Many of the other moms who gave birth the same day had problems with the delivery or faced health issues with their newborns. I was thankful, and determined do my best as Mom to sweet baby Jesse.
A few months later while reading a parenting manual, I was horrified to find I had failed right from the start! The article stated, “Of course, the first thing every new Mom does is count her baby’s fingers and toes.”
Of course???!! Really? During all the excitement in the delivery room, I hadn’t given one grain of thought to anything math related. How could I be so careless and abnormal?!
While expecting my second child, I determined this would not happen again.
After several hours of labour, Dr Squires announced, “It’s a boy!” Again, great happiness. A brother and playmate for Jesse. So wonderful…. wait… Count! Do what every Mom does.
“1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9…. ”
“Is his hand ok?”
Something did not look right.
Dr. Squires answered back, “Only a Mom would notice that so quickly.” At least I had remembered to be normal!
As it turned out, the perfectly formed little thumb on Jordie’s left hand, was not attached to a socket. In fact, a socket was not to be found. Controlling muscles were missing all the way up his arm and into his chest. A couple of weeks later, that perfect little thumb had to be removed.
As trivial as it may sound, I was devastated. With all the advancements in medicine – heart transplants, brain surgery, etc., could they not have saved this perfect thumb, and made it work? I cried. Then I would reprimand myself, thinking of other babies with more severe issues. Cried again. Would kids at school make fun of him? How would I teach him to tie his shoes? He would probably never play hockey, or the piano. I didn’t want life to be hard for him.
Thirty years have passed, and as I look back at Jordie’s thumbless life, all I do is smile. What an amazing kid he was and is. A gifted musician, (including piano playing) he rocked the hockey rink as a young boy, received a specially built goalie trapper from Edmonton Oiler’s Bill Ranford, starred in a very funny high school movie about being a failure as a hitchhiker, astounded little children with his ability to remove his thumb (never mastered replacing it though 🙂 ), tied his own shoes without a college course, gave the most ridiculous “thumbs up” sign, only had a couple of issues with schoolmates, and was never at a loss for a girlfriend.
The list of triumphs could go on and on. Mostly, Jord makes us laugh. His great sense of humour is something we all enjoy. When dining out, he garners much sympathy from waitresses, as he makes the task of lifting his water glass, appear to be the most awkward feat possible, while in reality he can lift the glass without a hitch.
Jordie married his high school sweetheart, Melissa, whose sense of humour rivals his own. They now have two adorable little munchkins, Eli and Avery. Eli is turning three in August, and we already see signs of a great wit emerging.
Last week at the beach they were digging for treasure when Eli proudly announced he was going to, “Finda Dadda’s thumb!”
When Jord posted that on facebook, I smiled at this response:
Nigel-Collette Lacey: and the humor passes on…how funny!
And that got me thinking about this blog.
Ah Jord, what you lack in thumbs, you make up a million-fold in smiles. And it appears that Eli will carry on your legacy.