Hurricane Timothy

Written Jan 20, 2012

Timothy recently spit up suddenly on his older sister, Elisabeth.  This was not your garden variety, ‘Excuse me, but I have a small amount of white stuff that I would like to deposit on your shoulder.’  It was a category 5 Hurricane Timothy.

He let loose a tidal wave of spit up rivaled only by Catherine’s legendary spitting up back during Y2K.

Meanwhile, Elisabeth, startled by the torrent of milk, etc, let out a scream, which of course scared Timothy, who let out a loud extended cry of his own.  Like all good new youngparents, we swarmed the situation like Navy SEALS and told Elisabeth that she shouldn’t startle the baby like that.

After a minute in my arms, Mr Heat Miser calmed down, perhaps soothed by the warmth of my embrace, but possibly also intrigued and encouraged at how easy it was to get his older sister in trouble, and just maybe wondering whether that’s a skill he could use again in the future.  We’re just hoping he uses his powers for good and not for evil.

With just over 2 weeks left until ‘T Day’ (Timothy’s surgery on February 7th), our focus remains on his surgery, asking questions like How do we keep him healthy now that he is starting to come down with a cold?  and  What if they can’t put a tube in his left ear?

I looked back at my journal from the first week of the little guy’s life, and came across an email that I sent to my extended family when Timothy was two days old, while we were awaiting word about his colon issues and whether he would need surgery. At the risk of sounding self serving (but darn, this is our blog, so how much more self serving could we already get?) I put the email below because it sums up the way we felt then, which is very much what we still feel today and it’s a good reminder for us as Timothy rehearses for his triumphant return to Children’s Hospital.


Dear family,

First, thanks so much for the various ways that you have been and are supporting us.  We appreciate the thoughts and prayers and the visits and all of it. Be patient with us if we are not yet sure how to use offers for help.  The stress right now is the uncertainty, not being able to be with him, and trying to get answers at the hospital.

Second, I know that Timothy will be fine, and while it sucks to see him on his back connected to tubes and maybe facing poop in a bag, he’ll be fine.  And so will we.  He is at an amazing hospital, and frankly none of the issues we’re talking about surprise me (after reading and talking with people with Downs kids). It is certainly possible that he will get worse, but I don’t think so.  And if that were to happen, we’ll be able to deal with it.

Third, this little scrapper has taught me and will teach all of us some important lessons in the next many years.

Here are a few that I am learning every day:

Patience– I don’t like patience.  I’m not good at waiting.  I don’t have a choice right now.

Gratitude and Perspective– We all have so much, but usually focus on what’s not working like we want.  And so, so many people we know are in far, far worse situations than us.

Vulnerability– Asking for help is tough, and I don’t like to do it.  But there is real power in being able to acknowledge when you need help, and opportunities to truly connect with people (and be a better leader) if you are willing to let down your guard just a bit.

Today –We have today.  I am not going to go crazy wondering about possible health scenarios for the wee lad – I’m going to enjoy today with him.  I know that appreciating today and being more present will be one of the best lessons I learn.

Faith –I lean on this the most of all.  We are not in control.  I pray for Patience and Courage every day. This is why I know that, whatever happens, we’ll be able to deal with it.  I have total confidence here.

Those are a few of my lessons so far.  I can’t wait to hang out with this kid.

Thanks again for your help,



Looking forward to Valentine’s Day,

The Lees

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