This lovely Jamaican woman was sitting and talking with someone as her children played on the play structures. Nik saw her and made a bee-line for her —from across the parking lot! He walked past the person she had been speaking with and immediately took her hands in his to clap them together. As she good naturedly humored Nik, we talked and she told us she is a pediatrician and a neonatologist. “He must have known,” she smiled as she clapped hands and tickled Nik’s chin. She asked a few questions about his early days and was stunned when we told her that we had spent 209 days in the NICU. She turned to the woman she had been speaking with and remarked, “When you meet parents who have spent a long time in the NICU, you owe them lots of respect; they’ve had an unbelievably hard road and they bear so much.”
I blushed and stammered something, I don’t know what exactly, denying that we were anything special at all —just ordinary parents loving our child. She took my hand and smiled and said, “Oh no, you are a true veteran and he is a lucky little boy to have you.” Then she looked at Nik, now sitting on his Daddy’s shoulders in a vain attempt to curtail a rascally streak he was starting to show. She then smiled at Nik and said, “He looks like he is doing extremely well; he’s come a very long way and I think he will go farther still.”
Indeed. I couldn’t agree with her more.