Monday, March 28, 2005

Isaac's first day

Here is the official site for my nephew, Isaac Joseph Zaret. Funny how it took me 27 years and change to get my own website, and this kid has one on his first day.

mother Zoe with baby Isaac Posted by Hello

I first heard the news while writing in my blog this afternoon, so it seemed appropriate to post the news, even if I was maybe the last in the family to hear! I tend to turn my phone off for long stretches of time, leaving me more or less unreachable. Still, though, now that I've had the benefit of a few hours to ponder, I wanted to write a little more on the subject.

I've lately been reading this book called The Rural Life by Verlyn Klinkenborg, and I find it's a very difficult book to explain to people. It's one of those books in which the things it talks about - weather, insects, trees, animals, farming, etc. - are not really what it's about at all. I realized today that what it is about, what so many beautiful works of literature and music are about, when I stop and think about it, is time. We think we understand time, we think it behaves as simply and predictably as the gears in our watches, but then a day like this happens, and everything seems to change in an instant.

Would this day have seemed any less life-altering had it come a couple of weeks from now, when we were expecting it? For the past many months, whenever I told anyone I was about to be an uncle, or even thought about it, I always attached that word "April". So when it happened, my first reaction was, "How could this happen? It's not April yet!", as if the number on the calendar was the most amazing thing about this day. Really, though, I'm not sure anything would have prepared me for the idea of calling my sister Zoe "your mother", of calling my own mother "your grandma". I seem to have left the world I woke up in this morning for a different world, in which everyone has a new title and a new identity, all in relation to this new person.

Of course I've been telling everyone I know about Isaac, and looking forward to a chance to visit and see them in person. I'm not sure what it will be like to be in the same room as my new nephew, and I think it might seem just as strange and unfamiliar to see my sister as a mother. I am sure that she and Elliot will be great parents though, and that Isaac will be the new center around which their life orbits.

To extend that celestial metaphor a bit, I feel like I've been a comet that went skimming across my sister's atmosphere every so often, and it makes me a little sad to think that we'll be just as distant for the foreseeable future. Zoe has a very busy career, and I can only imagine how full her life will be now. Still, though, this is a day to celebrate and to marvel at my sister, and at life.

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