Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Welcoming The Otter

He was born at 6:14 this morning like an incoming 8-pound, 20-inch artillery round, one so polite and mild he decided to not explode, but even so he's set everything in flux, the flux which hypnotizes us. The elements imitate, mutate, and repeat each other, muttering their memes into the kaleidoscope of genes, as if that's enough.

We had already guessed how different he is from our first, and now we know. Yes, he is what came from us, from our parents and grandparents and they from theirs all the way back through. We inherited recessive codes of melanin, dominant eye colors, crenelations in our brains, curves in our eyebrows and our bones. The outcomes are infinite. But as a father, I know we inherit far more than that. We inherit culture, we inherit prejudices, we receive affinities, proclivities, morals, and bad habits, and everything organic about us swims in the swirling thickness of the past.

Into this realm drop the souls who want to visit or need to come back again through the wells of forgetfulness into these bodies. They decide to arrive vulnerable and as resplendent blood-drenched treasures, their umbilical cords shining like strings of pearls. We don't control them, they choose us because they think we can help them, and we can only extend the best welcome to this husk.

Honestly, I don't know how it works. Maybe they choose us, or maybe they're drafted, and I might just fall apart trying to hold this in my heart. All I know is that we, the antecedents, will do our utmost. This new boy is everything we ever were, plus himself.

28 comments:

goooooood girl said...

i like your blog......

Vincent said...

Well, Marc! Congratulations to you both, my Lord and Lady, and also to young Sir.

I never knew you had this secret weapon under wraps, so poetically unveiled on this auspicious day.

Bruce said...

Great news. Congratulations to you both!

My younger daughter, Audrey, 6, has, on more than one occasion, casually mentioned that she chose us.

Still Life Living said...

Marc,

You did it. Wow. That's awesome. Expect a package in the mail post haste.

Also, in honor of this post, I will always call your son "Otter." And I sure hope to hell he reminds me that character in Animal House.

BTW, I figured out why they don't want you to use drugs at work.

MarcLord said...

Thanks, guys. Going to bring him home now. SLL, speaking of drugs, title was "Welcoming the Other," but Otter is a great nickname.

MadMike said...

How wonderful! Congratulations Marc!

A. Peasant said...

Many blessings to you all. What a wonderful surprise!

MarcLord said...

One of the best parts of the newborn thing is finally getting home from the hospital (even if it's a great hospital). Phew.

Phil said...

Congratulations all around!

isabelita said...

Congratulations! May you all have a wonderful time!

Vigilante said...

So, Marc? Where are the cigars? (I thought you were old school?)

MarcLord said...

Cigars, hmmmh? I'll show you the cigars pretty soon--

MarcLord said...

phil and iz--

thank you both, and we're offering him up for simulated grandparent time...five bucks an hour. (He's a champ that way, and really, you might want the practice.)

MarcLord said...

Here is his picture, a minute or two onto the journey. I'm trying to shield his eyes from the incubator and the scale. He didn't really need either, and the light's intensity was making him unhappy.

Vigilante said...

Awe... Thank god he's got Mom's good looks!

JollyRoger said...

Wonderful. Once the kids are born, the excitement over just about any other event fades in the background. All the best to you and yours.

Naj said...

Already??? :))
It was just a couple of days ago that we saw his Ultrasound :)
Wishing you ALL THE BEST!

MarcLord said...

vig--

and that's a good thing.

jollyroger--

yep, and luckily in between kids you forget how little sleep you got.

naj--

thank you! What's really odd is how the essence of their ultrasound comes through. There's individuation apparent even there.

Naj said...

How's the first one taking it?

I was the first born; and I still remember the trauma of my little docile beautiful blond always laughing talented sister who came three years after me! I poked her through life, first physically and then psychologically, to make sure she remembers the chain of authority and first-come-first-served! :)

Naj said...

clarification: the trauma was mine; so I always feel for the 'first' children!

MarcLord said...

Naj,

all in all, he's been good, and very affectionate. Some regression this morning to "I can't put my socks on, can't put my coat on, you have to help me."

Our first is off the charts on competition and control issues, so no doubt there will be further hi-jinks. He will be very clear about chain of authority, as you were with your li'l sis. I'm an only, so never had to deal with it--but wish I had to.

A. Peasant said...

Ha!! Love the pic. Many thanks for sharing.

Not to jump too far ahead, but I will share the best parenting advice I ever got, and it works. Make them work their problems out among themselves, even when they are small (ie: as soon as Otter can reasonably defend himself). If you don't see it with your own two eyeballs, do not *solve* the problem (obviously excluding blood and other bodily injury). Otherwise, you will soon be pressed into Serious Diplomacy, and believe me, their problems will be more intransigent than securing peace in the Holy Land; and you will be rapidly sucked into a vortex of child reasoning more powerful than a black hole. (Especially with the older one being as you described. He might try to litigate everything.) Just keep saying, "Work it out." They may not 'work it out' like *you* would, but just look the other way as long as nobody gets hurt. This is how to raise resilient children who get along with people, don't whine, and know how to negotiate with creativity and share.

But for now, you just snorgle.

MarcLord said...

Thanks, Mr. Peasant,

and I'm much inclined to agree--parents are far too interventionist for my taste, particularly in Seattle. I sorta agree with enforcing some sharing, but then that gets you into diplomacy fast. Whereas in northern Europe, even Scandinavia, they don't worry about the whole sharing thing. It just works itself out.

I've got a rant or two in me upcoming on child-rearing, because society is particularly hostile to young boys and men. Behaviors necessary to learning have become taboo and criminalized, and that can't come to much good.

Naj said...

I think children should have "younger"siblings! I have three, who all find me very bossy! ;)

A. Peasant said...

Well, this is the motherlode for me, literally and figuratively, but this is not the place to unpack. Let's just say there are Things That Work and Things That Don't. And Things That Work should not be Arcane Knowledge.

MarcLord said...

Naj--

I can imagine! =) But I can bet you defended them fiercely when they needed you.

A. Peasant--

I'd love to unpack at the right place and time. First because my primary mission in life is to raise great children, and second because we have had a very, very difficult time with our oldest, who is and always was a dominant, highly energetic and talented type. Imagining him sitting in a desk for 50 minutes straight in school is...well, we've got a year to get him ready for that. Not long.

There are very few good sources of professional advice or other parents who haven't chugged the Kool-Aid. Too few to ignore. So let's figure out that packing.

Zoey and Me said...

Wonderful news. Congratulations from all your friends at Cat in the Bag. Tonight we hoist a few for you and wife and new son and other son and . . .

MarcLord said...

Thank you, Cat and Cat-Person. Hope you enjoyed. ;-)