When Sandi and I first learned we were pregnant with Thomas I started keeping a journal -- essentially a collection of letters to Thomas to let him know what life was like in those days. I thought it was a good idea. And besides, with a nearly hour-long train commute each way every day and about 18 gallons of adrenaline pumping through my body at any given time, it wasn't so much "creative outlet" as it was "insanity spiral cessation." Then Thomas actually got here and the frequency of my entries slowed a bit as I began to view the commute as an opportunity to catch up on much needed sleep. Seriously? Freakin' kid cried more than a pack of girl scouts on fire. "Colic" wasn't nearly a harsh enough word to describe it. It was more like "Colsuck" or "Colshootmeintheface."
A few months after Thomas' birth we learned we were pregnant with Ethan. (carry the one ... divide by ... OK, they're 1 day shy of being 13 months apart. My boys can swim.) I bought another journal. But by the time Ethan arrived I was so physically and mentally spent that I barely wrote in it at all. The last entry in either journal was dated 6/8/04. I can't make out what it says. Yeah, it was that bad.
For the sake of contrast, I am the youngest of 7 children (as a matter of fact, my parents were Irish Catholic. How'd you guess?). My parents weren't exactly journal writers ... or huggers ... or talkers ... or acknowledgers ... or non-drinkers -- not even for their FIRST few kids let alone their seventh. In fact, I know of only 4 photos of me as a child that were not head shots taken for inclusion in a yearbook. And yes, each of those 4 photos makes me look fat.
And it's probably because of their laizze faire approach to parenting that I developed certain personality traits, like my abhorrence of ineffectual authority figures and my disdain for socks. And maybe I'm trying to avoid revisiting the sins of the (drunken, apathetic, Irish) father (and mother) by trying to pick up here where I left off in June of 2004. Intense self-awareness was never my strong suit.
Whatever the reason, I'm here and anxious to record as much about this time and these events as possible. So, internet, considering these deeply-rooted-in-my-frail-psyche motivations -- as well as the newly realized albeit unanticipated slowness of the unfolding of the story of Ethan's ear -- I beg your indulgence if I occasionally step out of bounds and report on non-ear stuff. Besides, if Thomas ever found out that Ethan was the star of his own blog, despite the fact that Thomas' journal entries numbered in the hundreds while Ethan's had only about 6, ... well, let's just say there'd be an ad in the local paper that read: "New Daddy Auditions. No Experience Necessary."
And so begins the process of painting the bigger picture. Thanks for your indulgence.
"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance." -- George Bernard Shaw