October 12, 2017

The sunshine after the storm

A month ago we welcomed the newest member of our family. Bettina Maria was born at 11:35AM on Sept 12th in Miami.

That was roughly:

  • 4 hours after the hospital reopened.
  • 18 hours after we got electricity (and water) back.
  • 26 hours after her mom had to climb 27 floors up to the apartment.
  • 48 hours after Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida
  • 80 hours after her mom and grandma arrived at another hospital shelter for the storm.
  • About 99 times after someone jokingly called her Irma Bettina — to her mom’s gritted teeth.

In contrast to Robie’s minutely planned arrival and its choreographed fanfare, Bettina’s arrival was an excellent (and at times literal) example of Bruce Lee’s:

Be like water making its way through cracks.

Ana was brave, practical and unapologetically sentimental. My wife is the most amazing mom, and her only worry was being separated from Robie and myself — since children weren’t allowed in the hospital shelter.

Being a grownup sometimes sucks, and we had to agree that she would take care of herself and Bettina with her mom in the hospital, in case the baby decided to arrive early.

Meanwhile, Robie, my parents and myself stayed at home to ride out the storm. Luckily we have great neighbors, which meant that Robie basically thought we went indoor camping with them. He also loved going up and down the stairs — again… 27 floors.

But being a grownup sometimes rocks, and a month ago I got to pickup this plump and healthy half mini-me. Holding her, I felt objectivity evaporate as I’m now convinced she’s the most beautiful and intelligent newborn since Robie. It’s an amazing feeling — which gets even more surreal with forthcoming lack of sleep.

So the new adventure begins. My best analogy for parenthood the first year with Robie was that it reminded me of platformer games: as soon as we had mastered something (sleep time, eating, etc) and felt comfortable, Robie would bring up a challenging new level.

My working analogy with Bettina (and she’s going to hate this), is that it’s like rewatching a horror film. You know what’s coming, so overall you are more relaxed — but it still can be scary at times.

Regardless of horror movie or Nintendo game, we couldn’t be more grateful to be healthy and together. In this crazy thing some call the human experience, all other things are accessories.


Previous post
Filmmaker Ken Burns interview: The finished film, what’s shown is the thing. For me, it’s the process of making it. If I can sort of convince myself when I put my head on my
Next post
(Not) Difficult Being privileged makes it easy to think that taking a risk is difficult. It’s scary because the inertia of the status quo makes too many scenarios