Sunday, May 13, 2007

Upon Reflection

As I begin writing this blog entry on May 13th, Mothers Day, I look across the room at Alison holding our little angel Zoe and reflect on what it is to be a father. I find myself responding to this new situation (e.g. fatherhood) from two perspectives. The first is how calm and carefree I am, that fatherhood is the natural next step in my life and how dealing with a new baby seems so natural. For example, this morning Zoe was lying by my side, wide awake and moving her limbs as if Godzilla were in hot pursuit. I was half asleep barely registering this motion, as if having a bag of cats in a bag pressed up against me were normal. As if having a sleeping two-month-old baby girl next to me were normal after 42 years of not having a little baby sleeping next to me. Did I mention it was 6:00 AM? The other perspective I have on this whole fatherhood thing is HOLY CRAP, WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO!?

Yesterday we went to a neighborhood garden party where a number of the attendees were old enough to have grandchildren. They all commented (dutifully) on how cute Zoe was and asked if she was a good sleeper, then nodded knowingly to our answer. They had all been through this baby thing and have experienced not only the sleepless nights but also gobs of child rearing situations we can’t even imagine. It seems odd that this amazing thing we are dealing with is so boringly familiar to most people. Here we have created a living, soon to be thinking and functional being, but we would have received more attention if we had arrived with a monkey.

You have to wonder why people choose to have children. We will spend a fortune on a wasteland of baby, kid, and teenager paraphernalia. We’re creating a new continent out of soiled diapers. We haven’t slept though the night in two months and I don’t see it getting much better anytime soon. I bought a family car rather than a Porsche. And instead of gifts of flat panel TV’s and video iPods we received singing mobiles and cute towels with hoods. Okay, I realize that Alison probably wouldn’t have let me buy the Porsche in the first place, and it’s unlikely that people would have bought us gifts of expensive electronic toys, but the point is why would you choose the Yugo over the BMW?

I realize I just compared my child to a Yugo, and I do know that it is a bad analogy, but the point is why not save ourselves a lot of headaches and simply spoil our cats and buy expensive toys? Well, Zoe does this really cute thing when she’s sleeping where she makes this little sucking motion as if she’s eating. Her little cheeks go in and out and she puckers her little lips. And when she wakes up, she goes through this ten-minute stretch where she makes a hundred faces and moves every muscle in every direction and she’s really fun to hold while she’s doing this. And after she’s done all this (and had a quick snack) she becomes all smiles and giggles and doesn’t mock you for making idiotic faces and repeating, “who’s my cute Zoe,” fifty times. And when she’s older I’ll be able to show off our “Our Child is a Hardest School in the World Honors Student” bumper sticker, which may actually be more rewarding than owning a Porsche or bringing a monkey to a neighborhood garden party.

See photos of Zoe at Look for the new timeline feature at that site, where I will attempt to add a new photo each week so you can see her grow before your eyes.


  1. This neighborhood grandma would not have been so impressed if you had brought a monkey to the party! If we grandparents look bored consider the possibility that what you're seeing is nostalgia tinged with envy as we relive some of the most important times in our lives.


  2. I suppose "boringly familiar" was not really accurate. Everyone at the party really was very sweet and did seem charmed by our Zoe. I let creative license get the better of me.

  3. hey, Dave- I love the Blog.
    You are a great writer!

    Did you make Alison the eggplant on the grill- I can never duplicate that recipe!

    Adorable Zoe- one day I will meet you - Aunt Maureen