Six months ago any day now, I cut the cord. The nurses ragged her little face as she gasped and snotted and then drew her first breath. I cried as she breathed in for the very first time. No, I WEPT. Crying was something I'd done before in my life: when I held my Mom-Mom's hand as she died; when my Mom spanked my ass; when I was blitzed on strong ale and trying to impress Monica with my sensitive Rhythm Guitar Player bullshit. But I had never wept before.
I had never seen my child enter the world on a weekday afternoon when other people were hitting 7-11 for Taquitos and USA TODAY and Cokes. You hear the stories/every Dad has 'em/they're boring as sin, but they're true too. The weeping comes from outer space, from Heaven, and it travels many many miles to wherever you might be standing at that big moment; zooms down like the start of some movie where you see the Earth from the stars, then you move in on the USA looking bumpy and green and brown; faster now: to some specific city skyline from above; falling falling falling toward a certain part of town; a certain building; a specific window; and then hurdling though the thick hospital glass and directly into the spot between my shoulder blades. Into the heart. My heart.
I stood there shaking, spinning, ecstatic. Scared. I watched her slip out. Somehow I managed to hit RECORD on the fucking camera and so there's video, gorgeously shot I might add, of Violet having her cord snipped by Papa. And of her first wonderful sobs. Then that spiritual dart came sailing through the window I guess and I started weeping Mach 10.
Sitting here on my four foot ledge/porch on this hot summer evening, it's a little sad to think that no matter how much I might describe it all to her someday Violet will never remember a moment of it. Not the sounds of the nurses as they weighed and cleaned and checked her. Not the voice of the doctor as she explained to my surprisingly lucid wife how she was about to stitch her up. She won't ever have flashbacks to the colorful world wiping her blurry peanut eyes to reveal a dude in a skimmer cap holding a little Canon in one hand and a pair of medical scissors in the other, his face the color of a country radish. I guess I'll just have to re-live it for her over and over again. Not a problem.
Six whole months of bawling and pooping and learning to smile. Six months of guzzling milk from her Mama's tit, then the bottles we shake by the sink in the pre-dawn darkness. Six months leading up to grabbing for the little spoon and fingering the whipped squash headed toward her gaping baby bird mouth. Six months of two grown-ups in love with a baby so much that they just have to ease their love for each other behind the fridge for awhile. With the avoided dust and the lab hair tumbleweeds.
Six months of heavy ass beautiful true Biblical Koran Yahweh Jesus Torah North Pole love. Born inside Monica and me probably way back on the days we were born. Days we could never really visualize until now. Born back then inside of our babyguts but laying dormant all these years: unable to even consider surfacing during tempestuous love/sex affairs or at funerals or anything. Nothing Earthly could wake it up. Hard Love coma-sleeps until its time.
I wish I could live forever. I wish I could be here until the day Violet draws her last breath and that we could draw them together at the exact instant, out in a field of flowers, holding hands. Smiling.
Warren Zevon was dying of cancer when he went on Letterman and said the best thing I have ever heard anyone say ever.
"Enjoy every sandwich," he said.
I cried a little that night. I didn't weep, but I cried. I kinda knew what he meant.
These last six months though: I know damn right well what he meant. Take every dirty diaper, every teardrop from her cheek, every single giggle she ever lays at your feet. And hold them tight to your face...to your eyes...to your ears...to your nose. To your lips. Now, boy, you're living.