It was a small, one bedroom house in Tunica. Quaint, not too much to clean. Rather perfect for the insta-family. I was young and incredibly naive. So much so that whenever the hospital had released me with a new baby boy I was genuinely shocked that they would not be sending a nurse with me. It seemed obvious to me, and I didn't know why others didn't see it. I was clearly ill equipped to actually take responsibility for another human life.
Yet there we were, my baby and me.
Months later, I don't know how many exactly, he and I were in that little house. And I guess I had finally just decided that if all those other people around me weren't scared for his life then I might as well have a little faith as well. I'm sure I'd already done my "Cher" workout tape while he sat in his little swing, rocking back and forth, still possibly thinking to himself, "how'd I end up here?" We were having one of our little play moments where he's laid out on a baby blanket, face up. I was coochy, coochy, cooing and giving zerberts on his belly just to see him smile when all of a sudden....
in that little room with those dark, panelled walls....
there came the most precious moment of my life, the greatest gift I've ever received.....
Slater's first belly laugh.
It surprised both of us. We froze and looked at each other. He amazed at the sound he created, how it felt. And, I....OH MY GOSH. I don't know how to describe it other than to say there is NO SWEETER SOUND. It stirred me, something inside me wanted to simply hear that for the rest of my life. And I think if Slater and I had a story that needed to be simply put I'd just have to say that there were these two people and one of 'em just kept trying to make the other one laugh.
Hopefully, nobody will ever stop at this site for parenting advice 'cause God knows I have none. Absolutely zero. ZILCH. How he will graduate with honors this Thursday night, with all limbs attached, a few scars and a smile on his face is a complete miracle.
People ask me if I'm gonna cry, and all I can say is if I do the tears will be drops of laughter. Cause if God feels the way about me that I do about Slater Goff then I figure that's the best gift I can give Him for getting us to this point.
Paintball Strategy #3: Carry a small shovel, dig a shallow grave and bury myself until it's over. Okay, so maybe that's my parenting advice.