24 July 2015
Kathy came to me after a week of feeling different (but different in a familiar way). She said, “I am pregnant.” “Wow,” I said, “this is really going to change my life.” Clearly, Kathy comes out much better in this narrative than I. We had finally arrived at a very comfortable life and career in Austin, TX. I had not had to balance our checkbook for 2 years. I was pedaling downhill with the wind in my back. As they say, “40 never looked so good.” Yet, here was an event that would change our family forever.
Kathy found unexpected challenges at Round Rock Hospital where our little piece of Texas was born. The delivery nurse was distracted with other priorities. The anesthesiologist kept forgetting to bring that epidural. And I was no help at all. (Again Kathy comes out better in this narrative than I). But our rescue came when Jeanette Wright drawing on her experienced as a midwife helped focus Kathy toward delivery. Our challenge gave way to joy as Matthew was born that Texas summer day.
The 18 years that have passed since my son was born have left me without a single moment of regret. He was a blessed child from the moment he arrived and was so loved by his two brothers and sister. He is much loved. He has proven gifted in so many ways. Each transition from infant to child to teen to emerging adult has found me an eager spectator. Matthew has thrilled me with his athleticism, delighted me with his musicality, and pleased me with his academics.
Matt, I have been in absolutely no hurry for you, or I, to grow old. Yet as I blink you are launching into adulthood. This adulthood thing is never an all at once thing. Everyone’s ramp is different. And many of us persistently cling to aspects of our youth always. My hope for you is that you will grow with an eye toward the horizon determined to live a life with passion, compassion, and intelligence. As you make your way, know that you stand on the shoulders of those that came before you. You will have the love and support of your family always.