Today, my grandson -- _____ Robinson – is being born in Los Angeles at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. (No name yet.) This is a very happy day for our family: for the parents Jesse and Katrina, for my in-laws Steve and Cheryl and everyone on Katrina's side, for my daughter the new Aunt Daisy, and for my wife, the Tiny Goddess.
The birth of a grandson merits an ode, not a blog. But I haven't written any poetry in years; not even a haiku. But I can still say some of the things that I want to say, the things in my heart that come from the same place that poetry comes from.
There is so much wrong with this world, so many problems – day-to-day troubles and long-term crises – that the birth of a baby to this young couple is an unqualified good thing. A joyous occasion for everybody concerned. A new life begins. There is the possibility of hope once again, just like there is whenever a baby is born.
One thing about my grandson: he is a very lucky baby. His mother Katrina has taken good care of him and herself throughout her pregnancy. She's consulted with midwives and doctors and availed herself of the benefits of practitioners of body, mind, and spirit work as well as of modern medicine. It's been almost twenty-eight years since I was a "pregnant father," and technology has vastly improved since then. That's how, along with the baby's good health, Jesse and Katrina found out the sex: the detailed modern ultrasound could in no way hide the famous Robinson equipment. (Rimshot!)
This baby could have been born in West Africa or Gaza or Afghanistan or any place with serious troubles that compromise the futures of everyone who lives there. Instead, my grandson is being born in Los Angeles, the Entertainment Capital of the World. At Cedars-Sinai Hospital, a world-class medical facility that is still so Hollywood-cool that the campus boasts the intersection of "George Burns Road" and "Gracie Allen Drive."
Everything that could be done to prepare for the baby's arrival has been done. Car seats have been bought and installed. The stroller, the high chair, the diaper-changing gear, the crib, the tiny baby clothes and the zillion other things you need to care for a baby have been either purchased, given, or passed-down. Jesse and Katrina are ready ... or as ready as they'll ever be.
I remember when I was a "pregnant father" in 1983, while we waited for Jesse to be born. He was three weeks late. I wound up going to a doctor with heart palpitations. Really. When the doctor found out my wife was three weeks late, he sent me home and told me I was OK. (I am not particularly proud of this episode in my life, but it really happened.)
The anticipation is palpable. We're already making plans for hospital visits, and everyone wants to know when they can "see the baby." Out-of-town relatives are planning trips to LA so they can "see the baby." All of Jesse and Katrina's community – their friends and workplace associates – have welcomed the arrival of the baby. It's all positive, happy excitement.
For the Tiny Goddess and me, it's the first grandchild of our generation, on both sides. I can't believe it's been forty-two years. Forty-two years of wedding bliss. (Really.) And now we get this little baby added to our world. More love; more life.
I envy Jesse and Katrina. Not that I'd trade my life for anyone's, nor could I possibly care for an infant full-time, but I envy the big Adventure they're beginning. Raising kids is a lot of work (and worry and expense and worry, no matter how old they get), but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I was super-lucky: we had a boy and a girl. One of each. Little league and ballet school. And they both turned out to be excellent adults.
I am as proud of being Jesse and Daisy's father as I am of anything I've ever done in my life.
I wish that kind of parenthood to Jesse and Katrina.
(And Baby, I've got your back.)