This past Thursday at my wife gave birth to our first child, a baby girl now more formally name Keaton Phoenix. The labor and delivery happened all of the sudden and with only minor complications. What a fantastic and exciting event. That’s easy for me to say as the strenuous work of delivering a baby through the natural process of child birth fell almost entirely to my wife. The past few days have been a whirlwind of events and emotions. We have come home and are settling in with introductions to family, friends, koda the dog, the cats and even a bit of gardening this morning with baby in a sling as mother napped. How many of us can say we planted lettuce at 3 days old? I was initially at a loss for words regarding her and other matters. Now the backlog of thought is breaking free with a flood to the surface. Let me tell you a story of surprise.
I have been writing and even talking at times about our baby in feminine terms. In truth we decided not to learn the sex of our child before birth. When I wrote I did not mean to mislead but I found using the terms he/she or himself/herself took away from the work. I also thought to myself from the beginning that the baby would be a girl. Turns out I was right. A nurse announced to the entire delivery room just before birth about our ignorance concerning the sex of the coming child and everyone involved seemed excited to be a part of the surprise. When the baby was born I anticipated the announcement as the doctor delivered and the nurse quickly whisked away the baby to be medically examined. As she was cleaning nose and throat and wiping the baby from head to foot I expected the announcement of boy or girl. Instead of such an announcement the nurse first spoke to us with this statement. “So who has the redhead in the family?” My wife, obviously still dazed, looked up and asked, “Redhead? Is it a boy or a girl?” “A girl,” the nurse responded, “Congratulations, you have a redheaded girl.” Now this might not seem strange but my hair is sandy blonde and my wife is a dark brunette. The idea of having a child with red hair had never occurred to us. It seemed less strange after a trip up the family tree. My mother has red hair as do two of my mother’s siblings. The hair of my mother-in-law was somewhat red as was the hair of my wife’s grandfather though unfortunately he passed a long time ago. Suddenly there seemed a connection to the past we had not considered and were abruptly aware of. This was an additional emotional encounter we had not bargained for. What a wonderful thing is life and its unexpected turns.
When I first told a certain thoughtful friend of mine that my wife and I were going to have a child he had a question in response. He said, “Aaron, You understand fully that the world we know might very well change in the near future in a way that is painful and less promising then that of the most recent past.” He was kindly asking me how I could bring a child into the world with an understanding of the coming energy decent and the painful process into which it could possibly evolve. I could not fully answer his question until I saw the face of my child. The future is undefinable but that doesn’t mean we should be afraid to move forward into it. I can only hope. I can only have faith. I can only know that our future will rise flying from the ashes of the past. I believe in a better future. I have to. I will do my part and teach my child as best I can. I am excited.
Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, mediations, comments and emails.