Day One

I’ll never forget the pediatrician’s look when she came to my bedside after the birth of our son. It was the morning after a midnight emergency delivery in our small rural hospital. 

She said she’d done all she could. She held her hands out to demonstrate that he’d been lifeless. I looked into the doctor’s eyes, trying to get a glimmer of hope. 

Yet, our baby boy had lived through the night—breathing on his own.

She said it would be one day at a time. She was careful with her words—giving a dose of reality along with the hope that with time we could see improvement.

I tried not to replay the doctor’s words in my mind. Specialists came every other week to look at the subtle progress he might be making. They showed me techniques to encourage body movement and develop eye contact. Whenever his head was turned to the side—which was most of the time, I was instructed to gently place my hands on his head, and move him so he could look me in the eyes as I talked to him. I spent hours this way. One day at a time.

He learned to walk, but never crawled first. He learned to run, jump, and had the kind of infectious laugh that people loved to hear—especially me. 

Recently, I watched my son walk towards the setting sun—three decades have passed since that doctor resuscitated my lifeless baby.

I remembered when it was one day at a time for us—holding his head and then holding his hand as he learned to walk. 

He mastered all the milestones in his own way, in his own time. One day at a time.

But we can choose not to try. 

Paulo Coelho encouraged action: “One day or day one. You decide.” 

photo credit: Tommy Farris

My son is a Day One kind of person. He gets up and gets after it. Obstacles have been part of his life—he knows that let downs and set backs have purpose. 

Maybe the birth challenges equipped him more than I ever knew.

So, as Covid-19 has temporarily closed many businesses—including my son’s tour company, he’s not complaining. It’s safety first. But you also won’t catch him giving up either. For him, it’s just been another Day One decision.

James 1: 2-4  My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.

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