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Projectile Poop and Other Things I Like About Parenting

On the day of my 35th birthday, while changing my three-month old son, projectile poop flew out, landed on a space heater and burst into flames.  Which seems a very apt analogy for parenting.

No matter how valiant our efforts, pooh sometimes happens.

As we celebrate Fathers Day, I am very mindful of the day I became a parent — the morning Mason was born.  My now-ex and I were fortunate enough to be in the delivery room,  holding his birth mom’s hands, and I was overwhelmed by how thoroughly all of my senses were engaged.  It was hard to imagine that this tiny child, who would soon clasp my finger, would be entreated to my care, and I vowed to always remain engaged with him and ensure that he, indeed, had an amazing life.

And despite many upheavals in our life, he and I have remained connected.  Now 11, he has grown into a fine young man: smart, funny, a great athlete, and at ease in virtually any social situation.  His sweet spirit is infectious, and he lightens the hearts of those around him.

When I first met Marcus, he was two.  His social worker and I drove out to Moreno Valley to his foster home.  Upon spotting me — a total stranger — he immediately ran up and gave me a hug.  “Surely,” I thought, “this is a sign that our adoption of him is meant to be.” The next time I saw him, I took him to a park by myself, and he cried for an hour straight.  I chose not to view that as a sign.

Marcus did not have the easiest start in life.  He was born with club feet, and as his birth mom had issues of her own, while she managed to find time to get his ears pierced, she could not make it a priority to get his feet straightened.  Once in foster care, that was corrected, but due to his delayed muscle development, when he came to us,  Marcus was very clumsy.  The way that kid fell — up, down, up, down — Russ and I sometimes felt as if we were watching a Keystone Cop movie. But the important thing was — he kept getting back up.

In addition to his physical challenges, due to the neglect he’d experienced, Marcus was also initially a bit remote, and it took a while for him to really engage and learn to communicate with us.

Now age 8 — almost 9, he would insist– he keeps us in stitches with his jokes, and he’s evolved into an excellent runner and dancer.  These two boys bonded immediately, with Mason easily falling into his role as big brother, and Marcus the eager apprentice.

As I type this, the boys are outside playing army, running down the pathways, climbing on walls, and scaring the birds.

And all I can think of is how that scrawny, scrappy kid, scampering right up the wall after his big brother, used to be a remote and physically challenged toddler.

That evolution of self and spirit makes all the poop worth it.

4 Responses

  1. Ann Blatecky

    Happy Father’s Day Dear Kergan and Russ! You remind all of us parents that through the good, the bad and the calm, we would walk through fire for our kids..it doesn’t matter if we birthed them or not, they are ours…and we eat, sleep, breathe their health and happiness. We’ve survived Doug getting stitches 11 times, and moving all the way to NYC to go to college. Kate has taken the road less traveled and more parent tormenting, but they are our babies and it is their Fathers that we cherish and say thank you to God for today! Sending you both love, respect and appreciation. Oh, and a HUGE hug!

    June 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm

  2. Bill Richardson


    I never had poop catch on fire, at least not accidentally.

    When Saren was 4 weeks old (in 1979), we flew in our 4-seat plane from Atlanta down to Fort Lauderdale for a convention. At 7500 feet above central Florida, Saren decided to deliver a majestic power-poop that shot past the diaper and down her legs. While Susan strove to clean her up, I held her feet with my right hand while continuing to play pilot with my left. It took almost 15 minutes to finish the job but thankfully, none of it got on us or the interior of the plane. We’ll all remember that one for a long time.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm

  3. Angela

    Wonderful post! Brought tears to my eyes! You have such wonderful boys and I am so glad you are their father, their constant in life!

    June 17, 2011 at 11:01 am

  4. Angela

    Wonderful post! Brought tears to my eyes! You have such wonderful boys and I am so glad you are their father, their constant in life!

    June 17, 2011 at 11:01 am

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