I just had my first horrifying glimpse into my future as a parent.
Umm, Tim? We need to re-think this whole procreation thing like now.
No, honey, I’m not even kidding.
Two evenings ago, on a frigid Wednesday in mid December, the entire city shut down in preparation for the coming morn: 2-4 inches of cold, wet snow. School closings, grocery store stampedes, winter storm advisories, cleared schedules–the whole nine yards.
And then there was the matter of Pop’s 10:00am appointment with his heart doctor.
Just a two-month check up, mind you. No problems, no troubling symptoms, no expired medication refills.
I very gently recommended late Wednesday night (in view of the forecast) that he may want to think about calling to cancel.
He agreed that it might be wise.
We left it at that.
Thursday morning, bright and early, no snow. But the weather man was full of dire predictions: starting around 9, slow then picking up in volume, perhaps mixed with icy rain, stay off the roads, stay warm, hunker down for the long haul.
Tim rushed off to work to fit in a few brief hours before the coming doom.
Pop and I stayed glued to the weather channel.
“Are you going to go ahead and cancel that appointment?”
“Well, I’ll wait and see what it’s like out there in an hour or two.”
“Sounds like a good plan.”
Then around 8:45, I hear him on the phone with the Dr’s office giving out his new address. I think, oh thank goodness, he made the call.
15 minutes later, it starts to snow. I think, oh double thank goodness.
15 minutes later than later, Pop comes walking down the stairs with his coat on.
“Well,” he says, “Guess I’ll head on over there while I still can.”
My jaw drops. I stare at him in utter amazement. I am speechless.
“You’re going to the doctor?!” I gasp.
“Do you want company?” I manage to stammer, as a formality, because I always go with him to such things. Of course he wants company.
“No, I don’t think you should be out with that cough of yours. I’ll manage just fine.”
I enter a state of shock.
“Are you sure? Are you sure you want to go? Are you sure you don’t want company?” I barrage him with such convincing protests as I can muster.
Of course he is sure. His mind is made up.
I let him go. What else am I supposed to do?
He must know I am worried, because he calls to let me know he has arrived safely to his heart doctor’s exam room. “The roads were fine. No problem.”
But still there at the window I stand and watch and pray the whole time he is gone; and the snow drifts gently down to blanket my world.