Yesterday, Kathy & I brought home our new baby boy, ZBL. He was born on Tuesday at Stanford Hospital — he and Kathy are both doing super well, and SPL is excited to be a big brother.
What I wanted to write about this morning is optimism. The act of bringing home a new baby is such an incredible act of optimism. It’s just impossible not to look at everything with new eyes and to see potential everywhere.
As I get to know Z, I find that just talking to him, telling him about all the things that he’ll learn about and interact with and make — it fills me with a spirit of possibility.
Raising kids is challenging, no doubt about it. And there are days which can be pretty long.
But we get so many things from our kids, and like it did with his big brother, it’s amazing to me how much Z coming into the world has already given me, how much it’s broadened my perspective, and how he’s already helping me see so much optimism and possibility in the world.
“I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.”—Red from The Shawshank Redemtion. Captures a little bit of the anticipation sense that I’m feeling this week.
We’re in the last few days/hours before welcoming our new child into the world. It’s an exciting time for Kathy, SPL & me — the halcyon days of the early summer, the preparation of our home for the new arrival, and some real awareness that these are the last few days we have together as 3 — a configuration we’ve been in for nearly 7 years now.
I had forgotten what these last few days prior to arrival feel like. Lots of nervous anticipation, lots of thinking about what is next. Thinking about what the child will be like. How they’ll look, how they’ll act. Thinking about the adventures and quiet times and challenges and projects and everything else that’s still to come. Wondering. Hoping. Imagining. And it’s amazing because the new child, even before breathing a single breath of air, has changed all of our lives meaningfully.
More prosaically, I had forgotten about how you clear your schedule in order to be ready at any time — which mostly means you’ve got a bunch of time waiting around, in a somewhat distracted state.
And I had forgotten how closely you start to parse every single utterance from the doc. How you hang on every sentence, every measurement, every squint or pause that the doctor makes — and how stressful that is! With time and nothing really to do but wait and try not to be too distracted, there’s lots of time to think about possibilities, both happy ones and nervous ones.
Still, it’s an amazing time — this is the second time Kathy & I have gone through it, and the first for SPL — there’s no other way to spend time that’s quite like it, and I feel really lucky to have at least one weekend as 3, anticipating together.
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