When people ask me how I’m doing right now, I almost invariably answer with an upbeat “pretty good!” I think that’s bullshit. I mean, I am pretty good. But only if you are in my shoes and understand the context of pretty good. I am pretty good compared to my baby getting a transfusion. Pretty good compared to him being on a ventilator and having surgery at 9 tender weeks of age. But that’s not the real pretty good most people acknowledge as such.
We are well. But if I could imbue my listener with the experiences we as a family have lived through in the last year and a half it would have far more meaning. I think once a year had passed I will reconsider this time right now and realize how hard it all really was. Right now it feels good in comparison to the acute badness we have endured. And of course you only need to lay eyes on Oscar to know that it was all worth it a million times over. To me it was. And I also realize how not everyone knows that Oscar is OK. Tiny yes, but ok. I have seen preemies now that are decidedly less lucky than ours. We are the fortunate ones who made it just in time. By the skin of our teeth we have this minute version of a healthy, perfect baby. I don’t know how to encapsulate that in a response to ‘how are you doing’ though so I guess I will stick with “pretty good.” You will know what I mean.