One might think it gets old, this baby business. Having given birth to four children, who brought forth nine offspring, who now have produced six, count 'em, six great grandchildren, it could become routine, right? Hah! I became the same emotional, weeping mess this weekend as with the first. Granddaughter Katie and her husband, Arash, early Sunday morning, gave us Fletcher, a healthy baby boy who already owns all our hearts. We are so grateful to have this new little life among us.
It starts the wheels turning about life in general and I find myself thinking about what the world will be like when he is a man. Can we think ahead 20 years, or is it way beyond our imagination? Has the world become ungovernable, humanity out of control? Are we a runaway train, headed down a track into a dark abyss? Sometimes it seems so, but who can live with an image so foreboding? We surely have problems, severe and overwhelming problems that don't present simple solutions. But creativity and innovation have always saved the planet just when it appeared we were bound to destroy it through our greed and stupidity. Maybe it is living on the edge, the possibility of doing ourselves in that is our silver bullet. Typically, we never fix anything until a catastrophe looms, or sometimes after...the horse and barn door syndrome. Call me simplistic, but when the evening news drags on me until I want to cry or scream or both, I take my glass of wine to the patio and drown myself in the red-painted sunset and decide, once again, that I will not be brought down by political bickering, sensational trials, world-class scandals or yet another oil spill. I will do whatever I can from my small place on the planet to improve the world...I will speak out, I will vote, I will write my heart out. But dammit, life is too short, and getting shorter, to dwell on problems. There are babies being born every minute who don't know what a mess we've made or that it will be up to them to fix it. Meanwhile, they need to be taught, carefully taught, that life is wonderful and joyous most of the time, and that they, too, can rise above the other stuff.
When Fletcher is 20, perhaps we will have peace in the Middle East, no American troops on foreign soil, a cure for Alzheimer's Disease and cancer, and a practical way of converting all our trash and garbage into clean fuel. Perhaps not. But, just as those of my generation have lived through terrible wars and complex dilemmas, his will find a way to make a life in an ever-changing world and, let's hope, make it better than the one we offer him today.