Greetings Family and Friends!
When last you heard from my little part of the world, Robert and I were on the verge of taking on the hardest job known to man or woman. We were just a few weeks away from welcoming a beautiful new life into this vast Universe that we all call home. Before I forget, thank you to everyone who had such nice things to say about the sculpture I made of what I believed my bouncing baby boy would look like. Though I am no artist, I was inspired by the life within me to create, create, create! I used nothing but recyclable materials, and the piece recently won an award from the Local Beautification Council, of which, yes, I am the President, but I recused myself from the voting, so it’s all aboveboard. If any of you would like a signed photo of the sculpture, please send along a check for $20, and I’ll get the photograph out to you just as soon as things die down over here.
Oh yes, it’s been quite a busy week.
Now before you work yourselves into a tizzy, I want to assure you that everything went swimmingly with the birth itself. Robert did faint once or twice, but you know he has a very fragile constitution. I once saw him pass out from a papercut, and I’ve informed our therapist that they need to work on toughening him up now that we have a child to raise. Children are always injuring themselves, after all. Why, when I was seven, my cousin Mary Tremain fell into the coyote cage at the zoo and broke her arm. Luckily, the coyotes tended to her, but then my Aunt Francine couldn’t get them to give her back, and they had to work out a shared custody agreement until Mary was of age. The point is that things happen. THINGS HAPPEN! And you have to be prepared for that and steel yourself for any possible calamity.
A calamity such as the one that befell Robert and I as we were basking in the glow of our post-birth in the hospital. Friends and family, I will never forget the moment the doctor entered the room to give us the good (and bad) news regarding our child. I was handily beating Robert at Jeopardy, because as soon as there’s a category about Inventors, they might as well hand me the game on a platter. The doctor asked if we could turn off the television so that we could have a conversation, and while Robert was relieved that his intellectual pummeling was coming to a close, I was instantly concerned based on the doctor’s pale visage.
“Mr. and Mrs. Myerson,” the doctor intoned, “You child is healthy. Buoyant. He has all his fingers and toes.”
That was the good news. Robert was already smiling, because he’s led a charmed life. He can never sense when there’s a bear with a butcher knife waiting around the corner. I held my breath. I’ve danced with that bear a time or two.
“Unfortunately,” the doctor continued, sweat beginning to stain the shoulders of his scrubs, “It appears that he’s also…the Antichrist.”
Friends and Family, for those of you who are not all that religious, let me assure you that even if you do not believe in Christ, the Antichrist is not something you would like your child to be. I thought perhaps the doctor was exaggerating. He wouldn’t be the first doctor to make too big a deal out of something. When my mother fell into the Grand Canyon on our annual family landmark trip, the doctors nearby assured us she would never recover. A year later, she was healthy enough to go see Mount Rushmore and she fell off that too. Mother, if you’re reading this, I’m begging you to reconsider your trip to Mount Kilimanjaro. You’re not nearly as young as you used to be.
It turns out my son, whom I have decided to name (Drumroll, please)--
--is, in most ways, a totally normal baby boy.
(By the way, the name choice was mine, but I gave Robert plenty of input. If he writes to any of you privately and says I didn’t, just know that he’s been very passive aggressive lately, and please do not encourage that behavior. His therapist is working on it with him, but the poor woman only gets him for six hours a week.)
Luce does, indeed, have all his fingers and toes. He giggles. He coos. He pointed at a window and the hideous curtains on either side of it burst into flames. In other words, he’s your average, precocious little infant. Oh sure, I don’t like thinking that the doctor is correct and my cherub is really Beelzebub, but if he is, I don’t see what I can do about it. I’ve bought lots of hats to cover up the tiny horns on his head, and we invested in these special diapers to hide the tail. Aside from that, we’re just going to do our best to love him as he is. After our last newsletter, so many of you sent in advice for new parents, and while I don’t believe in listening to anything people say about raising children, one tidbit did jump out at me.
It was from Great-Great-Great Grandmother Etherelle. To be frank, I had assumed that she passed away years ago, but it appears she’s still going strong at her old-age home in Newfoundland. Some of you really should make a trip out there to visit. Robert and I can’t, of course, now that we have an Antichrist on our hands. Etherelle’s advice was “Children are a gift without a receipt.” What a beautiful sentiment.
Luce is, without a doubt, my little gift that cannot be returned. I can either try and change who he is, or I can do what the mothers of troubling sons have done for centuries--
Look the other way while humming.
Yes, we’ve had more rain recently.
Yes, we’ve noticed dogs barking at us anytime we take Luce out for a walk in his stroller.
Yes, there have already been a few mysterious deaths, including the tragic loss of the doctor who came to give us the diagnosis of Luce. Then again, I don’t find it all that abnormal when a flock of geese falls from the sky all at once resulting in the death of a doctor prone to hyperbole. At least most of the geese survived. Silver linings, friends and family, silver linings.
I would argue that none of that matters.
All that counts is the way I feel when I hold my precious treasure in my arms. Robert can’t hold Luce, because when he does, his entire arm breaks out in third-degree burns. I suffer no such affliction, so I suppose that’s how I know Luce and I were meant to be. An unbreakable pair. A dynamic duo. Like Norman and Norman’s mother, we will learn to find joy in each other and perhaps open a motel one day in northern California.
That’s all for now, friends and family, but be on the lookout for a special Halloween edition of this newsletter. I found the most adorable angel costume for Luce to wear.
Now if only I could get it on him without his little head spinning around in fury.
Am I right?