The middle child, an incredibly tall boy, would have fit right in on Seinfeld. I have to demand hugs from him, making him square up to me and squeeze. He almost hurts me now when he does, but it's worth it.
Last night, I cooked chicken on the grill. It was delicious and there were no complaints from any of the three, which is a rarity. I cook a lot of chicken and everyone is apparently sick of it but for me.
In the middle of the meal, middle jumped up and ran across the room with a terrified look on his face His hands went to his throat in the international symbol for "I'm choking on your cursed chicken, Dad!" I stood up, reviewing the Heimlich maneuver in my head while speaking to him calmly in an attempt to ease his panic. I saw that he was breathing, so I put my hand on his shoulder and looked into his eyes. "You're breathing, buddy. Everything is going to be OK."
"I've got a bone in my throat." I resisted the urge to tell him it was no wonder with the wolfing of food he and his older brother do. Instead, I led him to the kitchen and pulled a piece of bread off the loaf.
"Here. Chew this well and swallow."
"It'll push the bone down." It's a trick I learned from my Mom as a child. We ate a lot of whole, fried fish and bones in the throat were a common occurrence. He took the bread and chewed it carefully before swallowing. Within seconds, his face lit up and he grabbed me. It was the biggest hug he has ever given me, by far.
"Thank you, Dad."
I didn't reply. I just hugged him back.