Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Middle Name

When I found out that the first child I was to Father was to be a Girl... I honestly thought "Who in the hell did I piss off in a past life?!". My second thought was something along the lines of "Oh Shit. What am I supposed to do? I don't even understand her Mother. How am I supposed to survive in a house with two females? They're so complicated. They're borderline insane...

I do not understand these creatures. I do not understand them at all. I do not understand them in the Summer. I do not understand them in the Fall. I do not understand them in the Morning. I do not understand them at Night. I do not understand them when they won't admit they're wrong. I do not understand them when they won't admit I'm right!".

OK, perhaps there wasn't such a Dr. Seuss ring to my thoughts but that's how I remember it.

Boy, was I a schmuck.

I haven't the words to describe how absolutely, unequivocally, all kidding aside, honest to goodness, AMAZING you were to me (and still are, don't worry!).

But, this isn't a letter about that.

This is a letter about a name.

About three years before you were born there was an accident in our County. It was a school bus accident. It was a school bus that was carrying 7 small elementary school children to the school that both you and your brother now attend. The school where your mother, at the time, was just beginning her own career. As you well know, she's still there. Also, as you well know, that little park in front of the school is called a Memorial Park for a reason.

On that fateful spring day in March of 2000, the sun was out, the air was crisp but warm & I was toiling away at the White House on the hill doing the things that my job entailed. Your mother was, I'm sure, bustling around her classroom in preparation for the day's upcoming classwork. Somewhere a few miles northeast of your Mom, a bus driver was driving a bus carrying a handful of children properly strapped in with their seat belts.

Several minutes before the accident the bus had stopped for the last student on that road. Her name was Kayla Silvers. She was 6 years old. Her Daddy waited with her at the end of the driveway and made sure she safely got aboard. He then waved, turned around and walked back to the house.

Several minutes later, absentmindedly perhaps, the bus driver didn't stop at the rail road crossing. Instead, she slowly began crossing it, oblivious to the 193 ton, 33 car freight train that was barreling down, horn blaring, just over 1000 feet away.

The impact was so violent that it tore the bus from its frame and carried it far down the railroad tracks.

Kayla Silvers' Daddy heard the accident.

He ran down the road and found his little baby girl, lifeless. He cradled her broken body in his arms and he did what any man would do. He wept and he prayed for anyone listening to help. He never put her down. He only let her go when an EMT finally had to tell him the worst news a Daddy could ever hear.

Two other children eventually wandered into that endless sleep due to that accident.

Almost 3 years later, to the day, your mom and I first began discussing having children. She wanted a girl. I was convinced it would be a boy. A month or two later we began trying and before we knew it... you were on your way.

As we thought about names, we could never agree on the middle one. Nothing really fit.

One night, rather accidentally, I stumbled across an older news story about that moment and I thought about Kayla Silvers & her Daddy. I thought about how he would never get to watch her grow up (As I Have). He would never see her dancing in the rain or catching fireflies in a mason jar (As I Have). How he would never be able to tuck her in at night or rush to her aid when nightmares rattled her little body from sleep (As I Have). How he would never get those things... again. As I Do.

I wept. You have no idea.

That is how you got your Middle Name.

I Love You.