Just a line from that Monty Python movie. No need to fret. Aside from the Mayan thing, which may claim us all in a pillar of fire or outrageous storm.
Wow, what a month or two it has been. I have been too busy experiencing life, mostly vicariously, to get on here and update, post, just say "hi".
First the daughter has a wonderful daughter of her own, and I am immediately in love with a new life on the planet. People had always said this grandparent thing is incomparable. Well, I suppose you can compare it with having a kid of your own, and that may be a hard one to reconcile. But there is something about sitting in a room or, as we did this past weekend, a van, accompanied by one's wife, son, and then the new parents and the grandchild. A new family, formed right before one's eyes. "Blessed" begins to describe the feeling.
Having babies is clearly one of those natural acts that happens all the time - relentlessly in those larger urban hospitals. Indeed, this one was born in a pretty busy urban hospital, and staff attention soon turned to the next in line after all was well, post-partum, with the one we were waiting for.
So now there is this new, inexplicably magnetic person on the planet, and there is this new activity (if you can call it that) which consists of quietly and peacefully holding this seven or eight or now nine pound baby, meeting any challenges, stifling the cry, sensing the bodily functions that may be underway, rocking and cooing and making ridiculous sounds that just seem to make sense.
There is the perfection of an up-and-down motion I call "the elevator"- a maneuver that can calm the unsettled baby, usually making her arms fall limply and her eyelids close within a few seconds. There is the wonder of pivoting a "360" and watching her turn her head left, then right, to track the sunlight through a window.
The world stops. Work issues, other pressing matters of the world all go away, and holding the baby becomes the world. That's the best I can describe it. Unparalleled.
OK, the other big vicarious event. Our son told us this was coming, and indeed he carried it out. He asked a really wonderful girl a simple yes-no question, but one with lifelong implications. She replied in the affirmative and, bam, we have a new daughter-in-law to be, our new grand daughter has a new aunt-to-be, and we are looking forward to a big event in the spring.
So the big deals are all being orchestrated, if you will, by the next generation. Me, I go to work and have good days and get some things done. Come home and walk the dogs and practice with the band, enjoy time with my wife, think about seeing Pi or Lincoln. These are all good things, but the spotlight is on the kids, and it is amazingly satisfying just to see how their lives are unfolding these days.