May 25th, 2020
Hans called us on Friday evening, long after I had gone to bed. Actually, he called us three times in quick succession. Karin was still up, but she didn’t pick up the phone until Hans made his third attempt to reach us. Generally, a call from a family member at an odd hour means that something is wrong, really wrong.
I was half-awake, so I tried to listen in to the phone call as I was lying in bed. I couldn’t hear Hans’ side of the conversation, but I could hear Karin’s responses. She said “Oh my” and “Uh huh” a lot. Then she asked, “So, the test was positive?” I thought to myself, “What test?” Then Karin said, “So, is Gabby excited?”
Mystery solved. I could relax.
Karin is a night owl. It was several hours later that she crawled into bed. She got next to me and said,
I mumbled, “Goodnight”, and rolled over on to my side.
I didn’t go back to sleep right away.
I kept thinking about Gabby being pregnant again, and about little Weston becoming an older brother in a few months. I worried about Hans worrying. Dads do that sort of thing.
I asked myself in the darkness of the bedroom, “They want to bring a child into the world now?”
That was perhaps not a charitable thought, but it came to me anyway. This is not a particularly hopeful time in human history. The question becomes: “Is there a good time to have a baby?” The answer is: “No.”
I am pretty sure that every era during the last several millennia has been fucked up in some profound way. There has never been a golden age, so there has never been an auspicious moment for a child to make an appearance in our world. We keep showing up anyway.
I am still happy for Hans and Gabby, and for Weston. A baby is a promise of a new beginning. I think one reason that most people love babies is that each child is a new life, a new chance to get it right. I look back at my life as a messy series of blunders and tragedies, and it gives me hope to believe that maybe, just maybe, the coming generation will do it better. It is an absurd idea really, but it is one to which I cling.
Karin is obviously excited about the prospect of a new grandchild. She is looking forward to going to Texas again. She wants to see Weston, and I am sure that she wants to spend time with Gabby. She will probably say “hi” to Hans too.
Weston, our grandson, looking at his mom’s positive pregnancy test, and wondering, “What is this all about?”
He will find out soon enough. His world will be rocked.
Oh, on another note, we had some news from a young woman that we love.
She came home with her boyfriend. Then she walked up to me and waved her hand. She wanted to show me her engagement ring. I looked at it.
She smiled, and dryly said, “It’s real.”
Indeed it is. Life goes on.