After a week of wonders, from resigning Popes to exploding space rocks, the biggest one of all came Sunday.
Simon is my newest nephew. He entered the world around 2 in the morning, not far from Seattle. And if that sounds like a UFO report, well, that’s how it feels sometimes.
Funny. You think I’d be in practice by now.
This is my fourth entry into unclehood, you see. The first three came as quickly as skydivers leaving a plane, two nieces and a nephew, all within the last six months of 2010. It was a barrage of babies, the full immersion approach to witnessing infancy.
And then, it got quiet. I had a chance to get used to Gil’s winning smile and shining eyes, to Ivy’s all-absorbing curiosity, even to Riley’s looks of mischief and calls to “go-go” just one more time in her wagon.
Things became normal. Well, as normal as they get in the land of toddlers.
That probably should have been a warning.
I’ve been a reporter for 15 years now. One of the biggest things I’ve learned in that time is to beware the slow news day. That’s when you get the plane crash, or the break in a cold murder case, or the million-dollar federal grant. It may be good news, it may be bad, but it will have you running in overdrive until it’s done. I’m sure someone has inscribed it on a monument somewhere: Those whom the gods wish to see busy, they first make complacent.
And so, when my sister Leslie put up an online picture of Ivy holding a sign that read “I’m going to be a big sister!”, we knew the headline news was ready to start popping again.
I couldn’t wait.
Apparently, neither could Simon. About two weeks ahead of time, Leslie got word that her tenant might be ready to break the lease a little early. That began the teasing period.
Would he come on Mom’s birthday, Feb. 12?
Would the new little boy be a Valentine’s kid?
Groundhogs have been watched less closely. Messages flew. So did Mom, grabbing the first plane to Washington.
But just like in childhood, nothing happens until Simon says. And Simon said “Hold on a little more … no, just a little more … almost there…”
In retrospect, I wonder if my nephew has a future in public relations.
He finally became Sunday Simon with a few hours’ warning. With him came a reminder: babies set their own schedules.
Only fair. So does life, really.
We like to pretend otherwise. We schedule to a fare-thee-well, measuring minutes, slicing and dicing appointments and deadlines. We think of time as a possession, something that’s rightfully ours, that we can control, shape and dictate.
But as John Lennon once sang, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” And when hit with the unexpected, those plans can be as fragile as spun sugar. And we find out how much control we really have.
It can be frightening. Or it can be freeing. That part’s up to you.
For me, right now, it’s something joyous.
Thanks, Simon. And welcome.