Archives: Personal

Introducing to the World, Victoria Valentina Lizzi

Saturday took a more eventful turn than anticipated. After celebrating my wife Isa’s birthday on Friday I assumed I’d disposed of family birthdays for awhile. But the little one who’d been gestating in Isa for over thirty-seven weeks had other ideas.

Not that we’d been bereft of portents. The signs of impending arrival were there, but the contractions were nowhere near the frequency we’d been told indicated labor. Some disconcerting physical manifestations convinced Isa to call the doctor. The doctor suggested she come in for a precautionary exam. Everything was routine, precautionary, just-in-case. We figured we be home by the afternoon.

Nope.

Your standard labor is filled with sufficient drama as is. We weren’t asking for any theatrical upgrades. Got ‘em anyways, gratis. High blood pressure, magnesium sulphate drips, dislodged placenta. Then, many hours later…

A large room crammed with doctors and nurses. Your humble web logger as supernumary, dressed for a NASA clean room. Beeping equipment (though sadly absent the machine that goes “bing”), muttered medical jargon, flashes and glimpses of viscera – things externalized that should best remain internalized. Then…

Victoria Valentina Lizzi. A miniature human being. Quite miniature: about a jigger short of four pounds. Tiny but perfect.

The doctors scooped the innards back into Isa – all the pieces in order, one hopes – and stapled her shut. She’s had a chance to hold little V.V., but given our daughter’s current minuscule proportions the two currently occupy separate rooms. I’m sharing a post-partum room with Isa while V.V. enjoys the company of her peers in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

So, yeah, interesting Saturday. I’m a father. Wrap your head around that one.

Getting Real

Step by step it grows increasingly real.

My beautiful wife attended her baby shower last night and returned laden with ridiculously tiny outfits and boxes containing gadgets of arcane purpose. The boys bought me beer at my nearby watering hole and reminisced. Today I assembled a three-wheeled stroller and puzzled out the method of locking a baby seat into the stroller’s frame.

Something is changing.

There is a certain tradition in Mexico – or so MBW tells me – that the husband purchases his wife another ring to commemorate a new child. Today I picked up a piece of jewelry, sterling silver and blue and white topaz. MBW will need to resize it once the swelling in her fingers recedes.

Step by step.

I have new furnishings that I can make no use of. I have plastic contraptions that rattle and beep. This place once felt pretty roomy. Each new preparatory accretion renders the condo more and more – let’s say cozy.

MBW is laundering a pile of towels sufficient to dry off an army. Well, an army of very small soldiers. And we’ve got blankets enough to keep each miniature myrmidon warm.

I attended a class on infant CPR the other day. I filled those plastic lungs with my own breath and compressed that little chest.

So, yeah. Getting real.

Cats

Cats

We’re cat-sitting at Casa Lizzi for the next three weeks.  There are two of them now making free with the place, climbing on everything and shedding enough fur to line a parka.  So I’ve been thinking some about cats.

What is the fascination fable makers have with cats?

Football Season

It is that time of year again. The weather remains sunny and hot but the days are growing shorter.  The first hints of autumn appear: yellowing leaves, an occasional shower or an overcast day breaking up the pattern of one sunny day after another.  This is nature’s way of telling me football season has started.

I realize this means nothing to many of you.  Football, or for that matter sports of any kind, are for some a matter of indifference or even abhorrence.  I understand that.  Sports, organized games, physical activities constrained by arbitrary rules are from a certain perspective pointless.  They celebrate the physical over the cerebral, prioritize group-think over the individual, and seemingly reward disproportionately achievement in meaningless contests above excellence in more objectively important endeavors.  They revel in war metaphors, rejoice in naked brutality and organized violence.  They engender divisions, create tribal affiliations of enthusiasts who despise one another for no reason other than supporting a particular team of ball players.  As if we need one more reason to hate each other.

To all of which I say – phooey.  I like football.  I like the visceral, second-hand thrill of watching my team make a remarkable play.  I like the glow of a victory.  Even the despondency of a defeat adds a certain bitter seasoning to life.

I like stories, drama.  But too often with a novel, movie, television show I have a pretty good idea of what will happen, the beats, the ‘surprise’ twists.  Football, sports in general, provides unscripted drama.  I truly have no idea what will occur.  And this spectacle often comes accompanied by beer and chicken wings.  So there’s that.

Football, and to some extent baseball, lend themselves to viewing while reading.  These are episodic sports.  The duration between plays, between pitches, generally provides enough time to get through the average length paragraph.  Basketball, soccer, and other sports in which the action is mostly continuous lack this multi-tasking aspect.

And let’s address the tribal division concern.  Stipulated that competition is inherently divisive, both for players and adherents.  One need only consider the riots in Byzantium caused by followers of the chariot teams, the blues, the greens, etc.  But there is another side to this coin.  Comradery.  The fellow-feelling between two supporters of the same team can bridge divides.  A bond can exist between two strangers at a bar pulling for the same team to win.  And that’s a good thing.  Hell, Hunter S. Thompson and Richard Nixon found common ground discussing football.

So, I don’t mind if you disdain or enjoy football.  I understand both positions and my attention is not to convert anyone to my point of view.  But I’m utterly content right now.  Let the games begin!

It's a Girl!

I bought a crib yesterday. And a changing table. And other assorted items deemed indispensable for a newborn. The reality is still sinking in. Slowly: the density and relatively non-porous nature of my thick head renders comprehension a glacial process. But it is undeniable. I am going to be a father.

I’ve extended my adolescence longer than most, I suppose. Time to take a stab at adulthood. Any advice? I’m not, honestly, overly concerned. I’ve muddled my way through life with some degree of success, making it up as I went along. Less qualified people than I have become perfectly serviceable parents. I can do this. Right?

I still intend to make time for writing. I will continue to reach my word count. Plug away at the work-in-progress until it is finished, then move on to the next. Only now I have that much more incentive. My daughter deserves the best from me.

OK, there. I think that was a twinge of anxiety. Or maybe just hunger. Yeah, probably just hunger. Time for lunch.