New Super Mario Bros 2 - A 3-D adventure

A day like no other.  A three day span like no other.  I've dealt with bouts of insomnia over the course of my 38 years and my inability to sleep during this occasion was second to none.  I knew there were going to be late nights and that any sleep I got was going to be random and, perhaps, unplanned so I came prepared.

In my family I am the one that everyone relies on for the important things that nobody else remembers as being important until it is too late.  I am long removed from my days of being a tech junkie and up on the trends but in my family I am The Man.If there’s something wrong with the TV, the computer, the Nintendo Switch then it’s all up to me to make it better.  A lot of the time I do simple things like replace batteries or unplug the router and then plug it back in, but it is my duty.  So, on trips, it is my job to remember all the fun things like phone chargers and back up batteries.

I usually over pack for the occasion and on this occasion I did just that.  I brought my Vita and my 3DS along.  I made sure to bring no less than 5 games for each system and their respective chargers and carrying cases.  Yeah.  I overestimated the amount of down time I was going to have, but it is what I do.

We arrive and unpack.  My wife with her big comfy looking bed and me with an uncomfortable couch that folds out into a more uncomfortable bed like device.  I just know that by the end of this I'm going to ache seven ways to Sunday.  What I didn't know is that none of it would matter.

At approximately “You are never going to get a good night's sleep again-thirty”, my son Jacob, was thrust into this world in a beautiful discolored screaming embodiment of my eternal love and devotion.  The earth stopped rotating around the Sun and my entire world started revolving around my son.  My entire life flashed before my eyes and at that moment the past truly became the past and nothing else mattered.  I just became responsible for the most precious being in the universe.

Pure bliss. Pure joy.  So proud and in awe of this tiny human that I helped create. That I will help raise.  That I will teach dirty jokes to and teach the joys of my hobbies, most of which he will reject to form his own interests.

That night during one of his brief nap cycles I started New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS.  I just brought my son into the world so it is only right that I indoctrinate him into video games the moment he can breathe on his own.  I'd put this game off long enough.  This was absolutely the most appropriate time to get it off of the backlog.

Over the course of the next couple of days that we spent in the hospital and I begged and pleaded for just 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep I picked up a game from my favorite franchise (I mean, Mario is tatted on my arm) and plowed through level after level.  Dying, restarting, thanking the video game gods that the big N decided to give you a bajillion coins so that I could get a ton of extra lives.  I was tired and out of my right mind (and slightly out of my left mind as well) and trying to play video games while losing the ability to think and reason with severely decreased motor functions and at times holding my little burrito who needed to be changed, fed, burped, cuddled and loved approximately every 30 seconds.

Over the course of the 3 days we spent in the hospital I started and rolled credits on New Super Mario Bros. 2 3DS while trying to balance the pure joy of having my first baby be born, being abruptly jarred out of many unconscious states and holding the most perfect being I have ever laid my eyes on (you know, until his newness wore off and we had his sister just a couple years later).  The entire thing came and went in a blur.  I remember parts of it.  I remember almost breaking down into tears because I was so tired but Jacob wouldn't fall asleep to allow me the chance to shut my eyes for a few minutes.  Practically leaping out of my skin with excitement the time the nurse said they could keep Jacob in the baby station so that we could get some sleep and trying to make it seem like it wasn't the best idea anyone had ever had while dropping to my knees and processing my undying love to the lady who just gave me an opportunity to actually shut my eyes and not get rudely awakened by a screaming baby within minutes.

I mean, my wife put the kabosh on that by having a panic attack and getting up out of her bed in the middle of my planned rest and trying to walk around while claiming she couldn't breath as she was still hooked up to wires, circuit boards, IVs and catheters and me trying to get her to stand in one place and calm her down assuring her that everything was alright and trying to make sure that she didn't unplug herself from every bloody one of them and simultaneously trying to get a hold of a nurse to come in and help me with this situation I had no clue how to handle.

That Nurse was my savior, I will always remember ole what's her face fondly.   And while I consider it one of my favorite games in adulthood and greatest accomplishments (beating a game in 3 days is something I do not do any more) I recall next to nothing about it.  I remember a special power up that makes you invincible if you die too much.  I remember rolling credits.  I remember playing while holding the new love of my life and talking to him as if he knew what was going on.  Explaining Mario lore to him.  Explaining to him how complicated it will be to run and jump at the same time.

This article was written as part of a collaboration for Mar10Day.


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