As Tom Petty so adequately put it, “the waiting is the hardest part.” And it’s definitely true when you’re a parent waiting for your child to go into surgery, especially when that child is 6 years old and doesn’t understand what’s going to happen. In fact, to this point Madeline is soaking in the fact that she has both parents here to cater to her. It’s almost been like a field trip for her, the long car ride to Upstate Medical Hospital, the cute overnight bag, and everyone paying special attention to her.
But here I sit smiling but worried. I don’t think I’d be any kind of good parent if I weren’t worried about how badly she’s going to feel after the procedure. I know it’s necessary because her adenoids are huge and affecting her sleep patterns but it doesn’t make me worry any less. I’ll feel better once she’s better, once she’s through surgery, through recovery, and feeling like her old self again.
It brings back memories of a year and a half ago when our oldest had to be in this same place for a different kind of surgery. I was just as keyed up then, and just like back then I’m doing my best to hold it together and to appear strong for my daughter. Maybe that’s the toughest part of being a parent, knowing that something’s going to cause my child discomfort but knowing that because in the long run it’s for her own good I have to put on the brave face.
It helps to have my wife here, that steadying force that makes it easier for me to be solid as well. As we wait here in recovery room #5 for the nurse, the surgeon, and the anesthesiologist, my nervous energy has transfered itself into a sort of restless leg syndrome. So I’m writing, to get it out without driving myself insane. It will be just fine.
It will be just fine. And off we go.