The Fifth Sip


I remember the day very well.  It was just over a year ago, June 23rd 2009.  I was in our bedroom and my wife was lying down on the bed….out of nowhere she says, “Darryl, I’m pregnant”.  My heart immediately sunk…..another child on the way.  We hadn’t planned this, so I was totally shocked when I heard the news.  My perfect world of great wife and two amazing kids was about to get seriously rocked.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I immediately went into a depression and denial phase….and it probably lasted a lot longer than it should have.  I can still remember back to a good chunk of last summer with feelings of “Is this really happening?  No, it can’t really be happening”.  You see, I came from a family of two kids and everyone around me had a family with two kids.  To me, it was the way it should be.  Three just seemed like something I wasn’t sure I was prepared for.

Okay, so let’s fast forward to how this story can make its way into a cycling blog post.  Let me start off by letting you know that I can sometimes be a little Obsessive – Compulsive.  One example of this is when I’m out riding….when I reach down for my water bottle to take a sip, I have always sucked back 4 small sips each time.  Inside I’m thinking that each sip represents one of the four members of my family.  A strange personal fact, but the Obsessive – Compulsive in me makes sure it happens each time.

So as time passed last summer and the news of our third child still resonated in my mind, I continued on with my four sips of water at a time.  Again, ashamed to admit that I wasn’t able to accept this yet as my reality.  The days went on, the rides kept happening, and four sips continued being taken.

But on a beautiful long ride exactly one year ago today, my mind, heart, and soul aligned……and when I reached down for my water bottle, I took that fifth sip. I came home and told my wife all about my feelings, the sips, and that I was now ready for this.  I know I put a lot of emotional stress on my wife and was anything but the husband and father that I should have been.  I can’t take those 37 days back, and I forever regret my behavior during that time.

My wife and I believe that we often come across blessings in disguise…..and I can tell you this:  My baby boy, River, has turned out to be one of the biggest. I’ve nicknamed him “Lucky” because to this day, I’m still not sure exactly how he managed to beat the one in a million odds.  But when I look at him and see that great big smile looking back at me, I can’t think of things being any other way.

The days keep rolling along, my rides are even better, and that fifth sip tastes so perfect.

Enjoy Your Ride


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14 Responses to “ The Fifth Sip ”

  1. Myrna CG Mibus on August 22, 2010 at 10:20 pm

    I love this post and every time I see the picture of River I wonder if his eyes really are that blue. His eyes are magical, so deep and blue that they appear full of wisdom even though he’s just a little guy. He’s 100% adorable!

  2. mari-jo Lamarche on August 5, 2010 at 5:28 am

    Oh boy, those blue eyes are stunning!
    I come from a family of 2 kids too; always thought it was the way to go. But the years passed and I decided not to have any kids. I guess it was the right decision for me since I take always 1 or 2 sips at a time when riding my bike, ahah!
    Your journey is so interesting Darryl, full of surprises too!

  3. AmieReilly on August 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    This is beautiful.

  4. Cassi on August 2, 2010 at 8:20 am

    I will never take a sip from my bottle again without thinking of this. Beautiful post, story – appreciate your honesty and your sharing. I think the photo speaks volumes; it shows the depth of your love, the beautiful connection between parent and child. The simple fact that you took time to examine your feelings, articulate them, conveys how in tune you are with your family – and what a wonderful father you are. It’s a journey. And speaking from a point further down the road (3 in college this fall) – savor every single “sip”. :))

    • Loving the Bike on August 3, 2010 at 10:17 pm

      As I took my fifth sip while out riding today I thought about your comment. I imagined you grabbing for your bottle on your next ride and thinking about me and my post….it made me feel really proud. Thank You.

  5. Janice on July 30, 2010 at 11:30 am

    Darryl, You never cease to amaze me. I remember last year only too well. I was brought to tears reading this and I am fortunate that my daughter and beautiful grandchildren have such a caring and wonderful husband and father. Thank-you!

  6. Daniela on July 30, 2010 at 10:26 am

    What a beautiful and inspiring post, Darryl! Thank you so much for sharing! As for those 37 days, here is my take on it: we have to honour our feelings, however twisted they are. If you were to hide those it would have taken longer to get to the fifth sip bliss state. I am sure River will be proud to know how you came to fall in love with him! It takes courage to put one’s heart on the line.

  7. Jim on July 30, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Darryl, this is a great story. Thanks so much for sharing. I don’t think you should sweat the 37 days. What I am concerned about is what might happen when you become a grandpa… hyper-hydration aka water intoxication. In our age we have to think ahead, but I don’t need to tell you that 🙂

    Another great post. Thanks!

    • Loving the Bike on August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm

      I am actually really looking forward to being a grandpa. Not sure why….but I think about it a lot.

  8. Clive Chapman on July 30, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Aww, mate, join the club, my wife and I planned for no kids at all.

    Fay appeared 9 months after a very successful house warming party 13 years ago much to our consternation, but we got our heads around it and cracked on.

    Then 3 years ago Dan appeared, OH…MY…GOD!!!! What the hell now?

    But, as John Lennon said, “life is what happens to you while you’re making plans”.

    I’m not saying it’s easy being in your mid 40s with a manic 3 year old lad. But in all honestly would we have it any other way?

    And as for the OCD thing, it appears we really do have stuff in common! Love the sip thing, awsome!



    • Loving the Bike on August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm

      I knew there was more connecting us than just our love for the bike. I can feel the bond even with all the miles between here and the UK. Cheers, Mate.

  9. Bryan on July 30, 2010 at 6:45 am

    Darryl, what an awesome post. I think we all would go into a similar state of mind for an unplanned pregnancy. My wife and I did. Just like you we had our two kids and had no plans for any others. Then it happened and we were shocked. It took some getting used to but we eventually did and our youngest has been the biggest blessing to us. Amazing how it turns out that way.

    I really like the five sips. I might have to try that.

    • Loving the Bike on July 30, 2010 at 7:01 am

      I guess you and I have more in common than I thought. Thanks for your kind words, my friend.

      • Bryan on July 30, 2010 at 7:18 am

        I guess so.

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