Wednesday, September 22, 2010

To My Son, Who Is about to Be Born

Well, lad (you still don't have a name  yet), God willing, today is your big day. The free ride is over. In a matter of hours, you'll come into the world in Cambridge, Mass., which automatically makes you a communist--sorry about that. At least you won't be a vegetarian--not if your Texan father has anything to say about it. Your mother and I can see the Boston skyline from our birthing room at Mount Auburn Hospital. It's lovely. You're going to like living here. We do.

Anyway, this is the kind of thing that is supposed to be full of philosophical ramblings and fatherly advice, but I don't have any of that. I'm not a dad quite yet, and I really don't know anything about being one. I'm going to have to figure that out as I go along, and unfortunately for you, kid, you're going to be my guinea pig. For life. But we'll have some good times together, at least as soon as you start doing more than sleeping and soiling your diapers.

Your birthday should be Sept. 22, 2010. It had better be, actually, because your mother has been through a wringer in the last 24 hours (and in the last nine months, really), and she is beyond ready to pop you out. You got lucky on that front, though, son. Dad is a bit of a loose cannon sometimes, but you couldn't possibly have a better mother. You'll see.

I had planned to pen you a beautiful little essay that you could treasure forever, but the truth is that I'm pretty wiped out. It's past 1 am, and you could be here in a few hours. So, I'll leave you with the thought that you're going to be born on Bulgarian Independence Day as as well as on the anniversary of the independence of Switzerland. Just let that wash over you for a while... That stuff is actually not trivial, but we'll get into that later.

Stuff from 2010 will look really antiquated to you by the time you're my age (36). It might look antiquated by the time you're 10. And to tell you the truth, 2010 is not so great in a lot of ways. The economy is a mess. The job market is terrible, although I'm fortunate enough to have a good, secure gig that I actually like. The Cowboys are 0-2. The Patriots just lost to the Jets. West Ham are sitting at the bottom of the Premiership table. (This will all make sense eventually--very soon, actually.)

On the other hand, though, TCU has a great football team, and West Ham won a Carling Cup match in Sunderland the day before you were born. So there are plenty of good things happening as you wait to enter the world in a quasi-quaint hospital room in what some people call the Athens of America. You, though, will be the best thing of all. I couldn't tell you with any accuracy where I was on Sept. 22 from 1974-2009, but I'll never forget where I was on Sept. 22, 2010.

Come on out, kid. We'll get you cleaned up, come up with a name for you and take you home to Waltham. You'll be sharing a nursery with your mother's desk, but it's still a pretty nice spread. And you'll love our balcony, as long as you promise not to fall off of it. Son, I'm (probably) about to go to sleep for the last time as just a regular dude. At some point later today--God willing and knock wood--I'll be a dad. And you'll be a son, and we can try to figure stuff out together.