Inspired by: “Still Fighting It” (2001) from the Ben Folds’ album Rockin’ the Suburbs
The song that Ben Folds wrote about his son obviously became the song that makes me think of mine, right? Or at least one of the songs. This song obviously came out long before I had a child of my own, but it is a great song nonetheless. Prior to Lincoln, the thought of having a kid of my own was pretty foreign, though it was something that became more realistic once Kim and I decided that maybe it would be a good idea.
There isn’t a lot I remember about the early days of having Lincoln at home. He was born early (though just in time), so he spent the first six weeks in the NICU at McKay-Dee getting strong and being sassy. We’d visit him twice a day, prepping our home for his eventual arrival, recovering from the pretty traumatic ordeal of his birth.
There are a lot of books written about expecting a child. There are fewer written about welcoming a child into the world a little earlier than planned, though I’m sure they exist. But it’s not really a thought you want to have with a process traumatic as childbirth. You want everything to go exactly as planned, even if those things might be a little earlier than anticipated.
Lincoln was due on “Pioneer Day,” July 24th, but due to some known complications, Kim’s OB/GYN doubted that we would make it that far, though she wasn’t really expecting Lincoln to come as early as he did either. I’m sure that linked story on Lincoln in the first paragraph mentions it, but we went to the ER on Friday, were given a prescription to pick up on the way home and instead stayed there through the weekend (watching Game of Thrones on an iPad) with Lincoln making his triumphant arrival Monday morning.
But even after he eventually came home, it was mostly a blur. He was still little but he was a fighter. And when I’d get up with him at night, I’d sing this song to him… until it made me cry and then I’d just hum. Maybe it was soothing to him, as it seemed to work at getting him back to sleep or whatever, but it also was pretty soothing to me.
I didn’t know what I was doing. I was a new dad that had lost his own father not six months before. But the second verse was what always made me hopeful for our future, that I probably wasn’t going to crew it up too bad. (But it was also the part of the song that makes me emotional, so there’s that).
Good morning, son“Still Fighting It” by Ben Folds
In 20 years from now
Maybe we’ll both sit down and have a few beers
And I can tell you ’bout today
And how I picked you up and everything changed
It was pain
Sunny days and rain
I knew you’d feel the same things
After Lincoln was born, they whisked him away pretty quickly. The trauma of his birth didn’t lead to those great moments of hearing the initial cries right away, or even really seeing him. The doctors and nurses had to make sure we was going to be alright and get him down to the NICU as soon as possible. And I’m glad they did.
I waited to see him until Kim was ready, and we didn’t really tell anyone what had happened until a little later in the morning. We wanted to see him first before aunts and grandmas descended. But I wanted Kim to hold him first too, because those things are important. But when I held him for the first time, everything did change.
Earlier, I wrote that Lincoln came just in time. And he did. There were a lot of “sunny days and rain” between the cold December day that we buried my dad and Lincoln’s arrival. To this day, I think my dad (with his new heaven bestie Kim’s dad) sent Lincoln along at just the right time to try and make some of those rainy days a little more sunny, and I’d be lying if it didn’t happen.
It hasn’t always been the easiest time, but every couple of days, I just look at Lincoln and remember that moment like it was yesterday. And all those subsequent moments next to his crib singing this song to him. And thinking about that beer someday. And it makes it all worth it.