Life is funny. You get caught up in the day-to-day routine. Ebb and flow, up and down, there’s a rhythm in which you never go too high or too low. It’s not really better to burn out than to fade away, Neil.
Mo and I have had endless discussions on creativity and how it fades with age. I contend it’s because when you’re young you have such extreme emotions. Love, hate, new experiences, passion. Ecstasy and darkness. As you age, you and your peers become content and happy and forget about those extremes.
Longtime readers will recall the conversation in which my co-worker explained the whole sex thing to me. I guess it was more than a theory in his case, because he showed up yesterday as the proudest papa I’ve ever encountered.
He has been pregnant for a long time and I knew he was excited about becoming a dad. But while I was on holiday last week, things got crazy.
I’m not much on Baby Theory, but apparently the pregnancy got scary, they didn’t know how it was going to turn out, the kid arrived really early (unthinkable for copy editors) and they didn’t know if he was going to be OK.
And now he’s doing great.
His dad came into work for the first time afterward yesterday. His smile was twice as big as his face. He alternated between laughing and crying. And then both at once. He had just been through the absolute worst time of his life, followed by the unimaginable best. I tried to shake his hand and he gave me a bear hug. I likely have Baby Cooties now.
His name is Beau. Beau Beckett. You know how copy editors love their alliteration. Dad said he tried out several names on the preemie nurses and Beau won in a landslide. Gonna be a ladies’ man, he said.
He had just assembled a crib at home when Beau showed up, so maybe the timing wasn’t so bad at all. He’s gaining weight every day and the docs say he’s remarkably strong for a kid arriving so early. I’ve watched his dad on deadline a million times so I know where he gets his toughness.
Dad can’t stop smiling as he talks about the future. Baby steps. That was the hardest part, he says. Now just another 18 years.
I point out that with the new economy, kids stay at home till their 27. I can see him doing the math in his head as to whether his crib is big enough for that. Oh, well. Plenty of time to work out the details.
It’s odd. You sit in a newsroom day after day, dispassionately watching the world go by. Triumphs and tragedy are just things you put headlines on before hitting the button and going home. Odd to encounter one in real life.
Joy. They say the central desk is one big family. I’m a pretty damn proud uncle.
Welcome aboard, Beau …