Saturday, July 30, 2011

Birth Story

Russell’s head was visible, he would be making his entry into our world within minutes. Soon Jess had him pushed out and he was laid upon her chest.

He just sort of looked around in awe. His look grew more quizzical. He motioned for me to lean down to him. He began to speak.

“Are you serious? You decided to bring me into the world when things are looking the way they do? The U.S. is about to default on their debt. Congress is spinning and sputtering and has no real answers while we, excuse my French, are skipping towards hell in a handcart. Tuition at the University of Washington just jumped 21 percent—21 percent!—in just one year. And you’re still 18 years away from having to put me through there, how in the world are you going to pull that off? Plus I’m probably going to follow in your regrettable footsteps, the apple doesn’t fall far and all that, and end up with a liberal arts degree, so you’ll probably be a hundred grand into me being a barista or whatever cultural signifier of the bottom of the barrel that will be in effect in two decades.

“As you well know health care costs are only going to rise; I refer you again to our dithering congress. But who am I to crap all over them, they’re just people, same as you and me. What I’m trying to say is that Rome is burning Dad, Rome is burning. What kind of future am I going to have in this remaining husk of a once great nation? Not to mention that I’m only talking about things on a national scale, let’s bring this thing a little closer to home.

“What about you? Don’t give me that ‘Who, me?’ look, you know what I’m talking about. Look, I want to be sensitive, but can I be frank? When you take me home you’re putting me up in a bassinet in your guys’ room. That’s all well and good, I get it, I’m not exactly self-sufficient. But after a few months you’re gonna make me bunk with my older brother. And why is that? Because you’re living in the mother-in-law basement apartment of your in-laws. What’s the plan? Do you think well-paying jobs grow on trees? I know it’s not my job to figure this out or even worry about it, but how are you going to provide for us, and not only let us survive and scrape by, but actually flourish?”

I gathered my thoughts for a moment. He had caught me off guard, and after all I am his father, so I wanted to respond with something sage-like.

“Faith,” I said. 

“Faith?” he echoed in incredulity. “I’m talking practicalities and dollars and cents and that’s what you say?”

“Yeah, faith, that God will work it out.”

“Is that all you’ve got?”

I stood pat. Besides a checking account with an average balance of three digits and two vehicles produced before this century began, yes, that's about all I have to my name. 

“You know, that’s the dumbest, most simple-minded thing I’ve ever heard.” Then he appeared to think better of his roughshod brashness, and he looked thoughtful for a moment. “Well, if it works for you...” And with a flip of the hands, hey, have it your way, live and be well, he left it at that.

1 comment:

yourenotyour said...

He sounds like a sweet boy!