Sunday, October 21, 2007

Henry Leo: September 9, 2007

From: Fraction, Matt
Ks in labor since 7 am, spirits high, epi just kicked in, 100% effaced, 7 cm dilated, kid should be here later tonight.
Sept. 9, 5:19 pm

I've been wanting to write something about the birth of Henry Leo for some time. He is the son of Matt and Kelly Sue, two people who have entered our lives in an unconventional way and who have not surprisingly found a place in our hearts. Not surprising once you meet them. Spend just a few minutes with either of them and you'd understand.

These are special peoples. And we love them. But I wasn't exactly sure what to say, until now.

Because they live smack-dab in the middle of the country and we live on the left coast, our contacts are mostly electronic. Once a year, there's the opportunity to share the same air, but it's not enough. Again, once you met them, you'd understand.

I once told Susan that Kelly Sue is the kind of woman I wished could have been another sister. After Susan met her and spent time with her she disagreed. "Kelly Sue's the daughter you never had," she revealed.

And it struck me that she was so right. It's not that I wanted to be KS's surrogate father, it's merely that she is the kind of strong-willed, intelligent, creative, talkative, beautiful and funny sort of woman that would have been the perfect daughter for me. If I would have been lucky enough to have one, I would want my daughter to have been seasoned with several pounds of KS's genes.

From: Fraction, Matt
Much love to you guys -
more soon
Sept. 9, 5:31 pm

Taking that a little further, I imagined that her amazing husband would have been the perfect son-in-law. Creative, supportive, intelligent, talented, a protective and loving and caring partner to his wife, inquisitive, good looking and able to hold his own during a debate - these are the kinds of things I would want my daughter to find in her husband.

I know I've said some of these things before, but I don't mind repeating myself when it comes to people and things that matter to me. I repeat myself often, just ask Susan, my patient wife.

And so it was that in the afternoon of Sept. 9, 2007 I got a text message from Matt that Kelly Sue was in labor since the morning and that their son, Henry Leo would no doubt introduce himself later that day.

From: Fraction, Matt
Henry leo 7 lb. 11oz. 19.25" Mother & son totally awesome.
Sept. 9, 11:16 pm

I've saved those text messages and look at them now and again, refilling the mind of our reaction, (immediate tears and cheers) and how happy, incredibly joyous we are for...Henry.

Yeah, we're happy for KS and Matt, that should be assumed from the outset - but I'm really pleased that Henry has been blessed with amazing humans for parents. Pardon the gushing here, but that little fellow has got some good things going for him from the beginning.

No silver spoons, but platinum parents.

He won't be spoiled (at least by them) but he will be listened to. And taught how to speak to and see the world with a voice that cares and with eyes that see beyond the obvioius.

He'll be taught to think for himself and encouraged to create.

He'll learn respect for those who deserve it, insight into those who do not, tolerance for those different from himself, understanding why those differences exist, and compassion and love people for what is inside.

He will also love dogs, learn to trust cats - some of them anyway, and always seek out new things and new ways of interacting with the world.

He'll learn to laugh, mostly at himself.

He'll read comics and his mother won't throw them away, unless they're old issues of "ANT".

He'll probably raise hell, ignore his parents when he's 16, get early bad grades in math (if that part of his brain is from his father) but do better later on because he is determined to do so (if that part of his brain is from his mother), wreck their car (not an original prediction, but I support it), leave his putrid socks in the hallway and generally be a kid who learns that "play" is as important to life as work - but balanced with responsibility.

To Matt and Kelly Sue, congratulations and solar flare warm hugs to you both.

To Henry Leo, welcome and count your blessings little fella.

To all three, we hope to see you soon because we miss you terribly...and love you even more.

Photos by Laurenn McCubbin, used without permission. I hope she doesn't mind.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

10 Years and Counting

My wife, Susan, and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary this week. The other day we were talking about the last 14 years we've known and loved one another.

The anniversary will be a quiet time, just us at dinner, enjoying one another's company. I told her if anyone asks how long we've been married, I said we should simply tell them, "30 years."

"Why, because it seems like that long?" she retorted.

Looking down and then back up to her face in all seriousness, I said, "No, because it should have been that long."