Hey, Dad


Matthew Jaeger
Matthew Jaeger

10 years.

It has been 10 years since a little boy was born in the Philippines at Asian Hospital. A little boy shy of two months before he was due to come out of his mother’s womb. He sure was excited to come out into this world. Of course, coming out long before he was expected did bring about quite a few problems.
He weighed only 811 grams and he was a skinny little puppy when he was pulled out. His internal organs had not yet been fully developed and he developed skin jaundice. Luckily, it still wasn’t as bad as other premature births. He didn’t need surfactant which had been a blessing. He did have to stay in his apartment in the NICU for a while though. His incubator kept him warm and allowed him to grow in a womb-like environment. The nurses had to feed and change him regularly while he was there. They looked after him 24 hours a day making sure that he survived until he was ready to live outside on his own. And survive he did thanks to all his guardian angels in the form of those NICU nurses at Asian Hospital.
It took 30 days for that little boy to be ready for the world outside his mother’s womb. And those were the longest 30 days of his parent’s lives. At six months old, he has his first operation.
In the next few years he learned how to crawl, and sit, and walk. He learned how to drink and how to eat. His parents had a hell of a time watching him do all the things that other people expected babies to do. Year after year he learned new things, he explored, he experimented, he blossomed. His parents did practically the same thing, except a little less messy.
His parents made it a point to read him stories every night and talk to him in a native language. No goo-goos and no gaa-gaas. They had always believed that it was the best way for him to understand words and their meaning as he grew. In time, he learned how to read on his own and to speak fluently. In the years that followed after learning how to read, he never stopped reading. And never stopped talking.
Nine years of parenting adventures had passed. Joy, sadness, fear, disgust and anger mixed all throughout. Nine years of experiences like no other, exploration of the unknown, expression of the arts, understanding of sciences and frustrations with maths. It has been an immense ride. Now its time to move forward. Year ten. Let’s bring it!

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