35 to Infinity

The wifey joins me in the 35 club in three days, and I’m due for another publicly accessible love letter. If not posted on Facebook, it’s kind of like the tree-falling-in-the-forest conundrum and doesn’t really feel genuine.

Once every three years seems like a good interval to refresh. I want this one to focus on death, given she has now exhausted 50 percent of her quality 1:1 years. I would say after age 70, we should regard each ensuing year with a discount rate depending on physical and financial health.

Happy birthday babe!

Hey, she’s the one who brought up the whole mortality thing. It’s taken on a deeper edge after creating a human scheduled to outlive us. Perhaps still managing the hormonal fluctuations, my wife was fighting back tears the other day over the thought of not being there with our 5-month-old for his whole life.

I am always trying to get her to plan further in advance, but this feels extreme. We still have plenty of runway to figure out the back end; perhaps we should start with deciding on a preschool first. But here’s my attempt at making sense of inevitable death.

Well, I can’t really. Coming up with a halfway decent answer would require some serious intellectual horsepower. There are various schools of philosophy and great minds in human history to assist.

The best resource is Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars. In her eulogy for Gus, she points out how there are infinite numbers between zero and 1, just like there are between zero and a million. Some infinities are just bigger than others.

Finding the infinite in what is finite seems like the domain of quantum mechanics or very hard drugs, likely the collaboration of both. I might be sensing another path though, not to bastardize Hazel’s thesis.

This baby has been more fulfilling for my wife than she ever dreamed. She loves the thing so much, she’s lost her mind in the most wonderful way.

I don’t think she really picks up on what an amazing position I get to be in every day. I have a front-row seat to this sweet, lifelong love story unfolding between mother and son.

It’s hard to articulate. The best way I can describe it is… simply the greatest thing I have ever seen.

The way he looks at her, especially that first moment of recognition after it’s been a while, or searching when she leaves the room, makes my heart ache. Maybe it’s the sensation of the heart melting or growing.

Watching them has a way of helping the noise in my overactive mind bubble down like the foam after a bad pour.

Am I about to get fired? Shouldn’t I have started my own company by now? Was it a mistake not to stick with sportswriting? Would I have been a good lawyer?

I don’t know, but I’m down to ride it out with these two.

We can’t change the number of days much, although I surmise this baby will extend our lives and his grandparents’ lives a bit (because when you have something to fight for, you’ll fight longer). But we’re talking only a marginal increase confined by genes, luck, human shelf life.

Here’s what does feel infinite, or at least off the charts: the difference, the before and after. This baby has brought a depth to our lives, a richness that wanders away from the linear framework.

Something like this:
The best we can do is add some dots and shift the endpoint a little, but it certainly won’t change to an arrow. Each day along the way, however, now has this singular dimension that redefines the way we experience our time on earth. The difference can’t be measured.

Is it possible I’m on drugs right now without having taken any? Sounds that way, but it’s all I got for an answer. We’re living our infinity every day.

When my wife was pregnant, my boss told me once you have kids you can’t really imagine not having them. I’ve actually retained that ability because of my keen sensitivity to opportunity costs.

But the more time I spend in this new life raising a new life, the less my T-charts and linear thinking suffice to explain what’s going on. This is my wife’s first birthday as a mother and feels like the happiest one yet.

Writer’s note: If you spend any amount of your finite time reading the absurdities in this blog, we are either friends or highly compatible strangers. Thus I feel close enough to ask for your email address below. The only email you will ever get from me is one blog post per month for the rest of my life, until you click Unsubscribe. Thank you.