Monday, December 11, 2006

More Pictures of Oliver

You can see more pictures of His Majesty here .

Open Wide and Say O

Well, my dears. The King of Kings is born. Presenting: my new nephew OLIVER!! Oliver Asante (Swahili for "thank you") was born Wednesday, November 29 at 7:39am, after a long labor and subsequent high and scary drama, to my brother Nathan and sister-in-law Elizabeth. Our family mobbed the birth center for two days after his birth and impressed the staff with our whole-hearted shouldering of the new bevy of tasks that Oz's presence dictated. A list:

Auntie Claire, head paparrazza, was one of three family members who held Elizabeth's hand during labor (since Oz was a week ahead of schedule none of the rest of us could be reached. Baby Watch had not yet been put in place. I swear, if Oz inherited his father's family's need to be everywhere at least half an hour early I'm writing him out of my will post-hasty). She then joined me in highest number of pictures taken in the recovery room and had to be stopped from dipping his binky in a nice beaujolais.

Uncle Joel was, as usual, kind and generous with his smile to everyone present (I mean, present after we woke up, rubbed our eyes, took a pee and then checked our phones and found 10 messages saying that the K of K was on his way) and is already working to thwart Nathan's campaign to train Oz to call Joel "Uncle Prick".

Uncle Ramon had never held a newborn, to his memory, and when his interfering wife Cerise kept handing Oz to him, asked her what he was supposed to do with him. He caught on quickly and now whispers moral corruption in his ear every chance he gets.

Aunt Cerise was Aunt Cerise - co-paparrazza with Aunt Claire, Head Lullaby Singer and trying desperately not to say the SH word in front of the baby. Also headed up the "Roll Your Eyes Behind the Lactation Consultant's Back" task force. She has already learned that all of that in-utero U2 listening has warped the Oz-man's mind and if you sing Puccini or Jewel - what was I thinking? - he screams bloody murder. "Where the Streets Have No Name" makes an excellent lullaby.

Grandma Pris, being a nurse, got to do many comforting nursy things for Elizabeth and Ozzie. Her ministrations, I understand, were most welcome and I, though I required no medical attention, was nevertheless glad of her comfort and calm. She was Vice President of the "Roll Your Eyes Behind the Lactation Consultant's Back" club.

Grandpa Nate was always nearby Elizabeth, and probably clocked in the most bedside hours of all of us. He was especially helpful during Visiting Day, when his forbidding visage (masking an enormous heart, mind you) kept the hordes in line. Like, literally.

Grandpa Scott made sure we all wore masks around Mr. Incredible. And washed our hands before holding him. He also did a tremendous amount of running around and was the first to try wrestling the baby seat into the Jetta.

Grandma Chris was beautiful and serene and said many soft and lovely things into Oliver's perfect little ears. And Elizabeth's. And mine.

What do I say about Nathan? He was everywhere. He was with Elizabeth and Oz through every step, every procedure; every scary detail of What Happened unfolded before his eyes and, of the family, his alone. He faced crippling fear and came through with a little family to call his own. He's the man he always was - brave and kind and gentle and so very, very, very...funny. He's an angel and a good doctor and a wonderful brother. My little brother's a Dad, and a really good one - boggles the mind. Oz is a miracle and Nathan deserves him.

As does Elizabeth. You know that when the SH word hits the fan you find out someone's true colors? She was as courageous and determined and hard-working as ever - and those of us who've seen her do a half-Ironman already know her mettle. She is a champion. And she's also one of the most generous-hearted people alive. Like my mother, she'll be kind to you all the way up to almost hurting herself in the process. Know how I know? She was groggy after Oz was born, barely conscious at all, her voice a faint whisper. We were all crowded in her room, whispering too, telling her that we loved her and were SO proud. In walks a nurse - a good one, I think - all breezy and loudish, wondering at Elizabeth's musculature and inquiring as to whether she works out. A frisson of laughter went around the room as we explained that she's a triathlete of no small accomplishment and a personal trainer. The nurse went into her own burgeoning triathlon efforts and future dreams and wouldn't you know it - Barely There Elizabeth still found it in herself to offer encouragement and advice to this fledgling athlete. I was amazed, though getting used to it seems a good idea. It's not like she's not like that all the time...

Nathan and Elizabeth are already patient, good-humored (and exhausted) parents. I'm so very, very proud of them. Oliver is...he is the most beautiful child I've ever seen. I would do anything for him. You laugh, especially you parentals, but he has changed my life. He's inspired so many wild and wonderful schemes in my mind - he takes up most of my thoughts and affections. I'm over the moon for him. I'd JUMP over the moon for him. I'd swan-dive into a 50-ft.-deep, rock-strewn pit full of Batwa (pygmie) tribespersons armed with pointy sticks if I thought such an act would benefit him in some way. Probably not. Maybe just a small harmless bungie jump over a lake or something.

Far from taking the pressure off me, the newest member of the family has now given everyone baby fever and I can feel myself being watched. Of N and E's 3 combined siblings, I'm the only married one and now the pressure's on to see if I'll get the urge to have a kid myself. The watchful eyes see my great love for Oz and wonder if they're seeing longing to have one of my own. I assure you - I'm safe. Oz is baby enough for me, and if I had kids, why, I'd waste all of Oz's inheritance (for he is my heir - providing I die in the black, fiscally speaking) on their soccer shorts and college tuition! No. Oliver's the light of my life. He is enough. He's changed everything.