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Zeph is asleep on my chest, lightly stirring and breathing and sighing as my heart melts within.

I have to stop and read that again a million times.

But he doesn’t last in that position long.  If I’m not standing up swaying and lightly bouncing, I’m not doing it right.  Too quickly he’s fussing and I have to hand him back to Lu.  She’s on 24 hour feeding patrol.  And he’s a thirsty guy, just like his dad.

His dad.  Me.  Finally.  We did it and it’s the first thing I can believe in so many years.  Silas is my son, but I never got to be his dad, no matter what people say.  And feeling that way for so long, as something I couldn’t be and didn’t have and wasn’t able to do, it feels shocking to apply that label to myself right now.  Shocking but perfect.  Shocking but right.  For the first time in my life the chaos and correctness and beautiful, brilliant danger exactly matches what I want.

The first time we were home together, the three of us, it was like a vortex swirling out from Zephyr rearranging my mind, my soul, the physical reality around us.  Immediately I had to start pushing furniture around and go through boxes of clothes and gifts and random objects of babynessas as Lu lay on the couch with our son at her breast directing my efforts.  It was fucking glorious.

This is his house too, now.

12 days into our new lives together and the grandparents are freaking out.  Our friends are suddenly lighter and elated.  We are wrapped up in his quiet, alert gaze when he feels like being chill and amazed by the lungs and breath and voice as he screams into the night as all babies do when they are alive and want everyone to know it.

The moment stretched for eternity.

I could see the screen as the image shifted, the doctor moving the ultrasound device.

He paused on a void.  He twisted and focused.

I saw a whisper of motion and then his smile broke the sound barrier and I knew what he was going to say before the words existed.

“There, you see it?”

I saw it, so did Lu.

“That’s a heartbeat,” he said.

It was true.  It is true.

There is a flutter of hope within.

Feels like I didn’t even sleep last night, but I did, straight through and riddled with dreams.  It went from night to day but I barely even touched the sheets.  It wasn’t cause I was up with a kid or anything.  I was busy last night in my dreams.  There were so many things to do.  I almost feel closer to Silas when asleep than awake.  I guess I just believe my dreams are probably the best shot I’ve got at somehow encountering his presence.

I yearn for that, especially on a day like this.

Silas would have been 5 months old today.  And I don’t even have any fucking clue what to do with that.  Do parents have little month parties?  I feel like we would.  Or maybe we’d talk about it but then decide to save it for his 6 month bday.  But all day we’d both be secretly celebrating with him in our own little ways.

The Path of What Should Have Been is still there, daily, but I make a conscious choice not to tread upon it.  On days like this, though, I find myself wandering the woods around that path inadvertently, almost obsessively.  But I cannot stroll too long because the scenery is catastrophic.

Lu off to class.  Me taking Silas to deliver coffee and check out some shops.  The MMW kid’s album I’d play for him as we drove.  Seeing grandmom in our travels this afternoon.  Tonight we’d meet up with Mom and maybe make a first attempt at a restaurant meal.  Not because it’s his 5 monther, no, not that.  Just because maybe we could and that would be awesome.

Ahem.  Yeah.  Cannot go there all the time.  It is unspeakably painful.  So then, on this World I must focus.  The problem is, it also feels mentally unhealthy to keep not-thinking-about something.  But what I am doing is the opposite of denial.  I’m trying to accept the World as it is and yet, on a day like this, that feels totally and completely wrong.

So here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to deliver that coffee, I’m going to play music of an utterly different variety (dark, edgy & loud), I’m going to check out some coffeehops, I’m going to stop by and see my Mom, I’m going to stop at a local pub and have a beer and read the paper.  Later on, Lu and I will meet up with friends and we’ll have a delicious dinner in a nice restaurant with loud jazz and then when we get home tonight we’ll light a candle for Silas and then I’ll tear the house down with my bare hands.  Ahem!  No, not that.  We will cry and then we will sleep and then I will dream and then maybe somewhere in those depths I will find my missing son.

Woke up to the first snowfall off the season.  It had started the night before and I knew it was going to be out there waiting for me in the morning, but it still stung.  It was a shoulda-been moment that was instead another of life’s little boobytraps.

I got my stuff together and then dashed out to the car.  As soon as the cold, snow-scented air hit my lungs I noticed a couple walking down our block and in my head I suddenly said to myself “Reset! Reset!”

I wanted a button I could push that would wipe this last year away and start it over, back to the first snowfall of last year.  Back before Lu was pregnant.  Back before Silas blazed into our lives and transformed us forever.  Back before this terrible wisdom had entered my soul.  I have no idea who those two people were.  They were just walking down the block, no kid or stroller with them as is so common, and they looked happy.

I want to be like that, I thought.

Obviously I had no knowledge of the true state of their lives but the tableau of ivory snow and moist pavement and a high, cool-blue sky and two people hand in hand just walking down the sidewalk carefree and alone, it struck me.

They looked happy, and they looked innocent.  They were Lu and I pre-pregnancy for a moment.  For me.

Any last vestiges of innocence have been seared from my soul.  I take nothing for granted.  That’s not to say I don’t enjoy myself when I can, but I am also always watching out the corner of my eye to see where the next blindside is coming from.  I am constantly aware that the Universe is a sharp, hard and treacherous environment that we must tread with caution and find comfort where we can.

Perhaps that is why couches are so popular.  That also happens to be where my wife is right now and where I should be, too.  Silas should be there with us, instead of just our cats.  But the button doesn’t seem to work.

The snow is melted now, the moment passed.  The two I saw walked on into whatever future they had down the block.  I drove off to deliver coffee and save the day.  Lu moved through her motions in the practice of her yoga and the exploration of her grief.

I danced as I drove and cried as I danced.  I loved the music I was hearing.  I missed Silas so much.  I felt the road racing beneath my seated form.  I was feeling every aspect of the exact moment that was happening, blasted apart by the fact that Silas would never see or hear or feel any of it and the button still didn’t work.

Reset.  Reset.  RESET!!

It is still rather amazing to me when I see Lu getting special treatment because of her condition.  I’m not necessarily surprised by it anymore, but it is still a lot of fun to watch.

This past weekend we saw a moe. show at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ.  With my mom a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and Lu a die-hard Jovi-head this was a fun venue to check off the list.  They had some trouble getting people in at will-call for some reason, but once inside the bartenders were fast and friendly, the stage out back elevated so that even Lu could see, and the music, fireworks and friends were all spectacular.

But what was really the most fun for me was the way the staff broke their own rules for my wife.  Right off the bat she was flaunting policy by bringing in her own water bottle.  They let her pass without question.  Once inside I ordered a beer, and despite the many others waiting to be served, the gruff, efficient, 50 year old tattooed bartender turned sweet as pie when Lu asked him to fill up her 2 liter bottle.  Finally, at setbreak Lu just wasn’t comfortable in what she was wearing, so despite the many posted “NO RE-ENTRY” signs the staff was totally cool with her slipping out to change and then coming right back in.  What pregnant lady wants, pregnant lady gets.

Moe. was the baby’s second show.  The first was Liz Phair and a few weeks from now we’re going to see Wilco and Ween and hopefully, somehow, Radiohead, too.  That’s an nice spectrum of musical styles and it will be interesting to see what type of music the baby responds to the most.  My nephew Oren lights up whenever he hears “Either Way” by Wilco, while on the other hand my friend’s son Cobe absolutely loves to shout and run and jump and scream to heavy-metal rock and roll.  He’s three right now and I have no doubt someday he’ll take a mosh-pit by storm.

Tonight I had the first interaction with my unborn child.  Tonight I felt a kick.

It was incredible.

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