by: Ben Lacy
Don’t you love it when you go to the doctor, and, when you ask “Is this going to hurt?” they say, “Not a bit!” …right before you nearly jump from here to Zaire due to the sharp surging shot? Yeah, me too. I’m pretty sure any MD will tell you they answered honestly, since you didn’t ask “Is this going to hurt ME?” You know, since it didn’t hurt THEM at all.
Earlier this year, there was a bit of the aforementioned sharp surging pain in my shoulder. The first question the doctor asked was, very slyly, “How old are you?” Not cool, doc… not cool. In case you don’t know, once you get north of 40, doctors always ask you the age qualifier before giving their opinion on treatment. Because, let’s be honest, after you pass four decades, the odds of you throwing a no-hitter are pretty much zero. Therefore, orthos and the like are less likely to carve you up when they know the Heisman is far, far out of your reach. However, my surgeon was very open and honest with my initial treatment– actually, too honest. “Let’s just try a shot,” he said, as I sat there praying for the oral kind instead of the intravenous one. No such luck. The syringe he brought over to greet me and my poor aching appendage had the approximate measurements and design of a medieval broadsword, and when I asked, “Wow, is this going to hurt me?” he looked me dead in the eye and said, “Oh yeah, this is going to hurt.”
Most people say the worst part about getting a shot is the anticipation–knowing the needle is about to sink into your skin. That’s kind of what this story is about – anticipatory pain. Knowing full well that something is going to hurt.
Come with me now all the way back to the turn of the century (Wow! that sounds old). The year is 2001, and the Dad’s View dude had officially become a dad. A beautiful young daughter, in fact, certain to wrap me around her finger and squeeze my heart like an anaconda. Because her mom worked in Siloam and our home was in Bentonville, I was in charge of daycare drop-off and pick-up. Dropping her off the first day was tough, and I knew it was going to hurt. I only went back to the daycare facility seven times to check on her… before lunch. She was in great hands and doing fabulous. Me, not so much. My head was in my hands most of the day, crying because I missed her so much. But, we eventually developed a nice routine and I cut my daycare check-up trips down to 5 (ish) per day. We also developed a very close bond, as each evening we had at least an hour of Dad-and-daughter time before Mom got home. That was special — even though there were some bad parts. You know, like watching the same Little Einstein episode a bajillion times, or trying not to smack the TV when Caillou came on (something about that kid just annoys me), or constantly cleaning up Cheerio shrapnel. But, those are days I’ll never forget.
Since that first daycare drop-off, there have been several other firsts. First day dropping her off at preschool, kindergarten, middle school, junior high, dance class, etc. Now that she’s in high school and drivig, she doesn’t need me to drop her off anymore. Well… except for the time she ran over a nail and was without transportation, so I dropped her off at school. Of course, I honked the entire way down the drop-off road, played obnoxious hair metal songs with the windows down and yelled, “I love you!” as she got out. There aren’t as many firsts as there used to be, but I know, soon, there is going to be a first that is really going to hurt. Like the shot, I know it is coming, though I’m not 100% sure when. One thing that’s guaranteed–it’ll sooner than I realize, and much sooner than I’m ready for… she’ll be gone to college. For the first time, I’m going to go to wake her up in the morning and she’s not going to be there. And for the first time I’m going to wait for her to get home from dance practice to chat about her day, and she’s not going to be there. And for the first time, I’m going to look forward to watching Christmas movies with her in October (we get started early, guys… we’re jingle junkies!) and she’s not going to be there. I know this going to happen; and I know it’s going to hurt.