Today, my son Alijah turns 5 years old, such an amazing milestone in life for any child. This is actually why I’m missing about 70% of CES 2009, since the event pretty much always falls on his birthday. I wanted to be sure I was home for this one. It’s special in so many ways. First, this is the first birthday where he really “gets it” and has a high level of excitement. In fact, this morning when he woke up, he immediately came to tell me that it was his birthday, he is now five, and that he wants to eat at Red Robin. Can’t really argue with that logic. I know, right?
Besides all that though, thinking back to Alijah’s birth, it’s such a reminder of the true miracle that he is here with us, and that he is okay. For those that don’t know, Alijah was born almost 3 months early, and spent 11 weeks in intensive care, the first 9 of which were spent on a respirator that did his breathing for him. He weighed in at less than 2 pounds when he was born, and the entire situation just looked dire. Like every parent out there, I remember that day as if it were yesterday. Monica was having painful cramps, so we went to the emergency room at what I think was around 3 AM. The pain was getting worse by the minute, and by the time I had parked (after dropping her off at the front door with a nurse) and got to the floor that she was on, I could hear her screaming from the hallway. Easy way to find her room, if nothing else.
A few days ago I put up a video of Alijah and my Dad at the park. I liked how it showed a glimpse of the relationship that they had, even while having only a short amount of time to get to know each other. The next video I wanted to share was one that I think showed my Dad’s sense of humor, as he was even able to make light of his dying of cancer - not that he took it lightly, just that he was able to not dwell on it and always find the silver lining in things.
In this video Alijah starts laughing as my Dad shakes his inhaler, notices a box of donuts (or “no-NEETS”) up on the counter, and starts asking for one. I then inform him that he already has one in his hand, that he has been eating for the past few minutes. He looks down at it, looks back at me while doing some sort of “Oh, that’s embarrassing!” dance, and leaves the room.
Ever since my Dad, George Budabin, died of lung cancer back in December 2006, Monica and I had been kicking ourselves for not taking any video of him with our son Alijah. A couple of days ago, I was reorganizing everything I had in iPhoto just so that things would be better tagged and more findable, and I came across a few videos of Alijah and his grandfather that I had totally forgotten about. I will be posting them here over the next few days. This first one is from a day we spent at Wave Hill park in Riverdale, back home in The Bronx. I particularly love the interaction that they have with each other. That was so cool to see for me. Also of note is how my Dad almost tears Alijah’s arm from its socket at the very end.
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