The other day as we were driving Keegan kept asking me who my favorite child is. Of course hoping my answer would be him. He wouldn't buy my answer of "you are all my favorite and least favorite on different days of the week."
Sometimes its Daniel. And some days I'd like to slap the shit out of him. D was my second child born several months after my mother-in-law committed suicide. It was a rough time around the house with everyone trying to figure out the new normal, the holidays, a new baby. In fact that was the year where we had about seven of the events that are considered hard enough to deal with that they increase the chance of divorce. I can't remember everything but it was 3 deaths, laid off, new jobs for both of us, new baby, new house, father in law remarried and my dad had a heart transplant. All in a nice little 18 month window.
I was induced at 39 weeks since I had gestational diabetes and a transverse baby. Now, I wouldn't have gone the route I did but at the time it seemed like the way to go. We did an external version to get him head down and then cervadil followed by pitocin. I had a 30 hr labor, 20 without medication then some fentanyl and finally an epidural. He had decels to the point that I was crashed to the OR and had a forceps delivery but was "this close" to a cesarean. He was born with apgar's of 1,3 & 5. Most people never get a third apgar. Those numbers bought him a few hours in the ICU before he was finally brought to my room. From my view it looked like they threw him across the room and through the window to the NICU but I know they didn't really throw him. From Brian's view he saw a black baby that wasn't crying and was sure he was dead. Brian thought to ask if it was a boy or girl and my OB looked quick before he was taken away.
D has always been a bit shy; very introverted and hates big parties. He has always had 3-4 close friends and that was all. He had a hard time in school and it took him 12 years to learn to tie his shoes. He still hasn't learned to ride a bike. Although he did say a few weeks ago that he wants to try again. He was diagnosed with a fine motor delay when he was in 6th grade and we did two years of OT with him. Through it all though he has always been a "thinker." I'm sure that some from his elementary may once in a while think "I wonder whatever happened to that Daniel kid. I wonder if he dropped out of high school." But he is the kid who has gone on to surprise me.
D has always had a bit more gumption that Kate. When he was about 10 they took his favorite show off the air. So he called the television station and asked to talk to the manager. I can only imagine the person taking the phone call and getting this squeaky voiced kid asking for a manager. He then politely stated his case that they had taken his show off the air and he was upset. After the manager telling him that they weren't getting enough viewers to get commercial sponsors so they couldn't afford to run it he said "OK that sounds reasonable, thank you for your time." I'm sure they all had a good time laughing about that but I was proud of him.
Middle School was horrible for him. As it is for most kids. But made it through finding safety nets in science, orchestra and the school musical. He is so shy that when he auditions for a show I know people are thinking "why is that kid auditioning" but what they don't know is he started acting classes in 1st grade and got the lead in his group Chip from Beauty and the Beast. He has performed in numerous productions and takes voice lessons. He is also hysterical and has a very dry sense of humor.
He decided to go to the performing arts charter for high school since his sister was there. He hasn't done as much acting because he thinks the theater kids are way too gregarious and they drive him crazy. He has quietly stayed in the music program where is has been in pit orchestra, orchestra, guitar ensemble and choir. He is the historian for the guitar program and just auditioned to be in music conservatory. He is working on his 20 minute vocal review to graduate as a conservatory student.
But science is his love! My brother in law keeps asking me why I let him go to an art school when he should be in science. Ah but we are on the right path. The art school has the highest math and science grades in several districts combined. Music primes the brain for science. D has a 3.4 GPA, has taken honors courses and got a 24 on the ACT. He probably would have done better but he has test anxiety and had to go to work right after the test so he was worried about time.
So what got me thinking about D was last night. It was the holiday voice recital. The director has several choral pieces and several solos. He rotates soloists so that more kids can be showcased. D got one of the solos for the Wednesday concert. He did an excellent job. I recorded it on my iphone but the volume is really low. But its what happened later that made me just love him even more. I had to sell concessions at the intermission so I ended up staying in the hall for the rest of the show. That put me at the door at the front of the room. The principal had been wandering in and out monitoring the building but came and stood behind me for the final number. This was the all choir number and the director had chosen a Hanukkah song. I happened to look over at D about the same time Mr. W. did and I just heard him chuckling. D was jamming it out and got the other guys to all get into the fun of the song. The boys were all dancing and acting out the song they were hysterical. The girls were all straight laced. I turned to Mr. W and he said that is so funny. I said "that is my kid being the rabble rouser" He said I know and I love it. Then he said "your son has really blossomed this year." He went on to tell me how animated and fun he has gotten in the halls and other activities. D will never be student body president or events chair but in his own way and time he has blossomed into a great young man.
He has applied to college and is waiting acceptance. He plans to get a degree in biological engineering and a minor in epidemiology. Look out world because Daniel will soon be out in the real world.