My View from South Hill
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Amber, Liam and I welcomed Eliot Dell Rochon to our family today, April 13, 2011. He joined the world with a blink and a cry at 8:15 a.m., weighing 7 pounds 6 ounces and with a head full of rich brown hair. Mother and child are doing splendidly. Liam is delighted to have a brother. I am hyperventilating.
Amber and I have been asking friends in recent months about the transition from having one child to having two. We’ve gotten some great advice that is mainly centered on helping Liam adjust to changed circumstances.
My greatest curiosity, though one I was hesitant to voice to others, was how I would adjust. A family that felt whole with three members would now have four. A triad of interactions and relationships that have become well established over the last two years will now shift to accommodate Eliot. Love that felt complete would now be extended to someone new.
These thoughts did not concern me. There are millions of multi-child families after all, including the ones Amber and I each grew up in. My attitude was more one of curiosity – how does this amazing transition occur so instantly, so smoothly, and so completely? I was a caterpillar entering the metamorphosis stage confident in what was about to happen and yet not understanding how it possibly could.
I still don’t know how the shift occurs. All I know is that it does. Instantaneously. Our family is now four. My arms have wrapped around all of them at the same time.
Eliot is not named after anyone; his name belongs to him every bit as much as his life from today forward will be his. But we did borrow the spelling of Eliot’s name from T. S. Eliot. It was only after we became psychologically committed to this decision that I recalled how the poet once commented that his name is an anagram of toilets. Fortunately Eliot Rochon will not have to contend with that.
However, I do hope our Eliot will contend with some of T.S. Eliot's thoughts on life:
To do the useful thing, to say the courageous thing, to contemplate the beautiful thing: that is enough for one man's life.
Only those who will risk going too far can possibly know how far one can go.
Such reflections lie in Eliot's future. At the moment he is a squalling bundle of life aware only of his most immediate needs. His deep blue eyes have only just opened but he is already beginning to take in the incredible world into which he was born. Amber and I look at each other and then shift our gazes simultaneously to Eliot lying in her arms, and to Liam standing by the bed.
"What makes life dreary is the want of a motive," T. S. Eliot once wrote. Life around the Rochon home will be anything but dreary.
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