Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Inner Dad Requires the Inner Mom

Being a successful Inner Dad is all about having the love, companionship, and support of a loving Inner Mom. If I have become any sort of good father to my children, it's only because I have married the greatest Mom on earth that I know of, next to my own.

Mrs. Woody is ill. We were on the last leg of our Inner Vacation a couple of weeks ago when Mrs. Woody got a smallish wound that ultimately developed into a massive infection. Bad enough, at any rate, to land her in the hospital a few days ago.

Inner Dads can get a tad maudlin about family members and hospitals. It goes without saying, of course, that when an Inner Dad himself enters a hospital for any reason, we (in our own minds) have a much more stoic outlook about the whole thing. (At least one Inner Mom of my acquaintance, who happens to work at the hospital where my beloved rests tonight, disputes me on this point. According to her, her husband was the "worst patient" she'd ever seen when he was in for arthroscopic work on his knee.) We boast about being able to weather even hospital food because we are manly men, and not adverse to a little human suffering.

So long as it's us, anyway.

But let this Inner Dad confess tonight that even on those occasions when my daughters required a quick visit to Urgent Care, I was screaming on the inside. "Please, Heavenly Father," my prayers began, "let me be the one to suffer through this!"

Once it became clear that Mrs. Woody was destined to endure several days' worth of suffering and (as Dave Barry puts it) being subjected to medical care, my prayers began in earnest. Let this pain and agony be upon me, and not my sweet wife! My fevered brain began conjuring up all sorts of worst-case scenarios that have affected not only my dreams, but my ability to get to sleep in the first place. My heart hurts; not because of any perceived physical abnormality, but because it wants nothing more than to have my Sweetheart not suffer anymore.

I need my Inner Mom. My own Mom — the one who bore and raised me — has limited powers now to help me through life. I know she prays constantly on my behalf, but she also has four other children who need equal access to those prayers. She also has a loving husband, numerous grandchildren, and lives in Texas.

Mrs. Woody, on the other hand, is my constant companion. We do everything together. We share each other's ambitions and dreams. We love and support each other through lean times and physical challenges. We enjoy our children. We love teaching them (and being taught by them). We are a team.

So I crave your prayers tonight. Not really for me, but for the main reason why I'm a sane man today. She will get better; of that there is no doubt. She has access to talented medical professionals, and we have fairly decent Inner Insurance. Pray that she'll recover soon so we can get back to enjoying our life's many challenges and blessings.

The Inner Dad thanks you in advance.

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