April 21, 2006

Private letter to one of my favorite bloggers

Congratulations. You are about to embark on one of life's greatest journeys. Having a child is thrilling, and scary, and terrifying, and joyous. You will consider at some point that a human life is in your hands. You will ask "Have I and my lover created an Einstein, a Picasso, a Hitler, a Hoosierboy?" You will shape and instruct this tiny being in language, in manners, in behavior. Will she become a little lady, he a gentleman? It is up to you in most respects. You will worry about his friends, where she is late at night as she takes the car keys. You will soar with elation as she learns her ABCs and cry with every scrape and bump.

For the first time you will understand the phrase "the miracle of life" and experience the changes in your body that bring forth the baby in your womb. I will offer you the only advise I have ever offered a soon-to-be or new parent. Get behind and push and practice with a stroller before you buy it. Many do not leave room for a natural step and you will hate it if you do not push it around the store.

The rest is up to you. Learn the way the rest of us did -- through trial and error. Provide love. Provide hugs. Let the kid eat things that are bad for him, occasionally. As you step into your child's room, late at night, you will find true peace and happiness as you listen to the breath of innocence -- whether your baby is 2 or 12 or 20. Then you will understand the true meaning of life -- your child.

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