“I’m a little graduate
Aren’t you proud of me?
I know my numbers and ABCs
I made lots of friends and had fun, too
Now, I’m off to big kids’ school!”
The sweet little ditty my son Benjamin and his classmates sang at junior-K graduation, to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot,” was enough to turn this mama into an emotional puddle. (And don’t even get me started on the caps and gowns.)
It came up in my Facebook feed this weekend, and the timing couldn’t have been better. Have you noticed those “On This Day” flashback notifications, reminding you of what happened in your social world on this date a year or more ago?
“So grateful for a smooth morning spent just playing with helicopters and trains (and getting ear tubes), and for the awesome doctors, nurses and Child Life staff at American Family Children’s Hospital who made everything go so well!”
That’s what I shared on Facebook two years ago, along with a picture of my then-2-year-old son Benjamin happily hanging out in his post-op crib, with the American Family Children’s Hospital sign greeting us outside our window.
When your little guy has had multiple sets of ear tubes and more ear infections than you could possibly count, those two words strike fear in the heart of this worrywart mama.
What if he gets water in his ears?
What if the tubes get dislodged and we have to go through surgery all over again?
And how about those PTSD flashbacks of sleepless nights with ear infections, and wrestling with a freakishly strong toddler to get him to swallow a syringe of icky antibiotics?
My Radiothon checklist:
- A laptop: To chronicle the inspiring stories of courage and hope told by our young patients, families and staff of American Family Children’s Hospital
- Double espresso: To take the edge off the 6am start – and to catch up with all the energetic little ones chatting with the DJs, Fish from 93.1 JAMZ and Jackson and Ashley on Today’s Q106
- Waterproof mascara: Because those beautiful kids (and their incredible moms and dads) move me to tears!
As both a mom and a member of UW Health’s web team, it’s an honor to participate every year in the Radiothon, the biggest annual fundraiser for American Family Children’s Hospital. For three 13-hour days, from May 7-9, DJs from Midwest Family Broadcasting’s Today’s Q106 and 93.1 JAMZ will broadcast live from the children’s hospital lobby.
Today, January 8, my son Adam would have turned 4.
I can picture him tearing through the house in a Batman cape, wearing out the batteries on the new fire truck he would have gotten for his birthday. Or maybe I’d have spent half the day wiping a red, runny nose and rubbing cold little fingers after Adam spent hours outside, breaking in his new sled and making snowmen in the front yard.
Instead, my husband and I will mark our son’s birthday at Resurrection Cemetery, where we’ll brush away the snow and place a colorful pinwheel on our baby boy’s grave.