“The List” Takes a Holiday

It’s true that The List has been a challenge to fulfill thus far. It seemed like such a simple idea.  Just eat each days featured food. Sure, there has been some late night baking.  There has been plenty of late night eating. I’ve certainly gone on some really irritating scavenger hunts, but aside from one loan Leap Year snafu, I’ve been true to The List, creating and/or eating every day’s delight.

Then May 9th rolled around.  That was the first day of the window of expectation for my son’s projected delivery date.  Needless to say, on May 8th, which was National Coconut Cream Pie Day, my new high stress level set right in.  I thought, “How could I spend 48-hours in the hospital, taking care of my wife and newborn son, while simultaneously shuttling my daughter to her various appointments, caring for two dogs and two cats at the house… all while participating with The List?”  Then, I pulled it up, and I could not believe my luck that it was giving me the ninth through the eleventh off! How about that?

The boy was not born on any of those days, though.  No, he was born on May 15th.  And after my initial enraptured excitement subsided a bit (just enough for me to get a little hungry), I began again to think about the list.  Now, I was going to have those time constraints that I previously calculated in my head, especially because the hospital required that we stay for 48 hours.  Except, do you know I never did have those time constraints?  Would you believe The List ran blank again for exactly two days!  Can you stand it?

So, by the seventeenth, I was back on track with National Cherry Cobbler Day.  Then Cheese Souflee Day, Devil’s Food Cake Day, I was knocking them out with a Bam, Bam, Bam, and then… BAM!! It was on National Blueberry Cheesecake Day that my son, eleven days old, had been sleeping most of the day.  Then he stopped wanting to eat.  Then, he began to lose color and th was breathing heavy.  We drove him to the emergency room, and when they hooked him up to an EKG machine it revealed that his heart rate was clocking in at over 250 beats per minute.

The doctor told us our boy has a condition called SVT and he would need to go straight to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).  We spent five days with him there in that tiny room, having our hearts pulled out of our chests as they attempted to try and fix his. In those days, as they fed and injected him with medicines, attached wires to his tender skin, and shot electricity through his tiny body, I don’t think I have to tell you that I did not think of The List for one moment.

Parker & Me

Parker (my son) came home yesterday.  He’s on the right mix of medications now, and his heart is trucking along at a normal pace.  He’ll be on these meds till at least his first birthday, but the statistics show that this condition fixes itself over that time.  Today I am so grateful that things feel normal (and by normal I mean that instead of being woken up by a nurse every six minutes, I’m just being woken up by my son every thirty).  I felt so normal, in fact, that yesterday evening The List popped back into my head.  Blueberry Cheesecake Day!  I missed it.  I wondered what else had I missed? Was I going to be able to catch up?  Would I care to even continue?

Tentatively, I looked at the list.  Are you ready for the crazy?  The list had run dry the whole time I was at the hospital.  In all that turmoil, it turned out that I hadn’t missed a single day!  How weird and cool is that?  So, I’m back on board. This list apparently needs me.  It’s as if it protects me.  Or perhaps it’s predicting major moments in my life.  Needless to say, I’m looking very closely at June 18th, which is the next time there are three days without a food on The List.

Oh, also I had bought a cheese cake at the grocery store, made a little blueberry topping and dumped it on top.  Happy belated National Blueberry Cheesecake Day everyone!

See you tomorrow for National Macaroon Day! 

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About Jim Clark

"If it was worth doing, then it is worth writing!" -- Jim Clark -- Someone else probably said that before, and I'm sure that each semester she starts her Creative Writing 101 class by writing it on the board, but I never took that lady's class so I am taking her quote! I work in the world of advertising, but I write for a living. Here in the second decade of the '00s, we find ourselves in a culture where virtually everyone writes for a living. With all the clicking and clacking on Facebook, Twitter, emails and texts, our lives are more than ever intertwined with writing. At the same time, it's also become increasingly more important to shorten our thoughts down to as few characters as possible. So, now, more than ever, I think it's also important to hold a place in our lives for expanding and honing our thoughts through writing. This is my place for that.
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2 Responses to “The List” Takes a Holiday

  1. Alicia says:

    Wow! Crazy timing, huh? So happy to hear that your son is ok

    • Jim Clark says:

      Thank you Alicia. The timing was quite unique, indeed.

      Also, when everyone said, “Get used to not getting any sleep” (and I find that’s all anyone ever said. No one cares to relay the positive aspects of having a child), I didn’t know that “No sleep” would be because a nurse was walking in every 9-minutes to check vitals or electrocute my kid.

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