A Moveable Feast

I’m waiting for Christmas in July. Or August. That’s the trick with Moveable Feasts: the dates change every year. In this case, though, the date only changes this year. Then that date will become a holiday on into infinity. At least to me.

We’re going to have a baby. Quite soon. I’m excited, but there’s not been a real build up or ramping up of emotions approaching the big day. Because the big day isn’t set yet. Even the first acts of parenthood tend to take on a sense of ambiguity. I can only imagine how many questions will appear with the kid.

He’s supposed to be a boy. We’ll see if we were fooled in the ultrasound. His name is all but set. We’ll look him over and make sure it seems right.

And then we’ll be parents. And that will be a holiday and a feast day. With all the late nights and noise and friends and family and the money flowing and the Taco Bell dinners. It will be the best party we’ve ever been to, and it will be thrown by our son.

But he’s an enigmatic child: he’ll come out and party when he’s good and ready. And there’s no telling when that happens.

In the meantime I’ll think about the toasts we’ll make and the songs we’ll sing, and the people we’ll meet and the places we’ll go, together. Together will go from two to three, and it will be too much and just enough all at the same time.

I talk to people about it all the time, how much things will change. I always say the same things, because I don’t know what will change. Everyone knows what happens with a baby, but I don’t. That’s all right, though. He and I will figure it out together.

A feast day is only as good as its entertainment. I committed Kipling’s “If” to memory for the occasion. I want to give the little guy some goals. Later on, I’ll tell him they’re impossible, but they’re still worth striving for. Also, I’ll tell him where his name comes from, from the first chapter of James’s Epistle. Enduring trials without failing is another impossible goal, but it’s also the only way to make it through being human.

And it’s too late to pick something else: little guy is going to be human—no doubt about it. And he’s going to fail at everything, like the rest of us. But he’s also going to succeed. And I’m already proud of him for that. He made it this far—and a little further and he’ll be able to breathe the same air I breathe, and eat the food and taste the liquor of time and space. A life that’s bounded by hope and failure and beauty and ugliness and limits and infinity and infused throughout with love and wonder and joy and, once again, hope—hope within hope—is what he has to look forward to. And then all the more in the worlds beyond.

And that will be a Feast! And I can’t wait to meet you, little guy!

2 comments on “A Moveable Feast

  1. mama cheryl says:

    Love it! Can’t wait for the party! I’ll bring the taco bell

  2. stephen says:

    i’ll hold you to that! 🙂

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