“I’m sorry to say, but sadly it’s true; bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you.” I get emotional each time Jesher and I reach this point in the Dr. Seuss classic, Oh the Places You’ll Go. Actually, this whole section has a way of sinking deep into my heart. It’s simply too accurate, and when spoken to the tune of Theodor Geisel’s rhythmic precision, the descriptions of life’s challenges hit too close to home. I usually have to pause before moving forward to the following page. I don’t want my son to see me cry this early.
“And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” Truer words have not been spoken, and that is why I read this book to Jesher once-per-week. Yes, there are many other books that can serve as wonderful distractions from his current reality; however, I don’t believe in drowning out the bitterness of life with fantasy. I want Jesher to hear the truth. I want him to hear his dad speak plainly about his uphill battle. I don’t want to lie to him just to make him feel better. I want to admit to him that our family is currently going through a daunting slump.
“So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act.” At this point of the story, I usually stop to tell him how hard it is to remain balanced. I tell him that a lot of people talk about balance, but few humans in our contemporary age have experienced it. I inform him of life’s pushes and pulls–the forces that constantly keep us off-balance. I warn him to distrust self-help books or gurus who attempt to formulize balance into a neatly wrapped commodity. I confess to Jesher that balance, in good times and bad times, is an elusive thing. I admit to him that his dad struggles to apprehend proper balance, and I ask him to forgive me in advance for the times when my lack of balance will negatively affect him.
“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! 98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.” Here is where I make sure I raise my voice so that these lines echo off Jesher’s cubicle walls. Sure, the aforementioned sections of the book do unearth truisms about life on our planet. They honestly illustrate humanity’s greatest dilemma–none of us can escape the hick-ups and dust-ups caused by living in an imperfect world. But I want Jesher to know that he can still thrive in this world–despite the slumps, bumps, dumps, and stumps. And as his father, I take full responsibility for making sure I declare this final, prophetic line over my son anytime I have the opportunity: “KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!” For Jesher will succeed, yes he will indeed–98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
COLON–Jesher has struggled to poop on his own for the past five days. The doctors did tell us that preemies can have bouts of constipation; however, this is the first time that Jesher has had this issue. He is now being given a suppository every twelve hours to stimulate colon contractions. PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO STIMULATE JESHER’S COLON SO THAT HE CAN CONTINUE TO RECEIVE FULL FEEDS WITHOUT INTERRUPTION.
HEART–Jesher still has an open PDA [Patent ductus arteriosus]. An open PDA prohibits the blood from circulating through the lungs properly, which effects how much oxygen is transported to the other parts of his body. Please note: we are asking Yahweh to deliver Jesher from needing any surgical procedures. If his PDA does not close, they will need to operate on his heart in order to close the hole manually. PLEASE INTERCEDE ON BEHALF OF JESHER’S PDA, ASK YAHWEH TO HONOR OUR REQUEST AND DELIVER JESHER FROM NEEDING ANY SURGICAL PROCEDURES.
BRAIN–Jesher had his weekly head ultrasound today, and we will receive the results on tomorrow afternoon. Each week, Jesher receives these ultrasounds to monitor the CSF [Cerebrospinal fluid] build-up in his brain ventricles. Previously, this fluid was not draining out of the brain properly due to blood clots. We are wanting to see the obstructions (clots) dissolve and wanting to see the CSF fluid levels subside. PLEASE ASK GOD TO UNCLOG THE VENTRICLE PATHWAYS IN JESHER’S BRAIN SO THAT HIS CSF FLUID CAN DRAIN ACCORDING TO GOD’S ORIGINAL DESIGN.
“You’re on your own. You know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” I know it sounds extremely premature, but I have already begun envisioning Jesher as a man–grown and out on his own. I often wonder if this habit is regular for parents or just one of my personal idiosyncrasies. Regardless of how common or uncommon these visions are, I have seen Jesher’s adult form. I have seen him standing about 4 inches above me, smiling because he knows I’m proud of him. And although I’ll have paragraphs of proclamations to pour out upon him, my vision of him always ends with me consolidating my verbose affirmation into five words: Oh, the places you’ll go.
“There is hope for your future —this is the LORD’s declaration —and your children will return to their own territory.” Jeremiah 31:17