Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.
-- Benjamin Franklin
When you look at the post announcing the good news of our second child, due April 27, you'd almost think we already knew what we know now, which is that this...
...is a boy. (I started to post one of the ultrasound pictures which clearly verified this news beyond any reasonable doubt, but I decided to afford the young man a slight measure of dignity. What you see above is his profile.)
Duncan and I are thrilled, of course. Scared a bit, too, because we've seen little boys who are mortal terrors, tiny living tornadoes leaving a path of destruction in their merciless wake.
Well, we're not that worried.
What I do worry about is the kind of world I'll be leaving for my son, for my children. In a number of critical areas, things seem to be getting worse, not better. It's one thing to blog about the decline of the American Empire and bloviate about American exceptionalism. It is another thing entirely to navigate those treacherous waters day in, day out as a parent.
I'm forty years old, and I've spent most of my entire working life trying to make the world a little bit better place to live. I realize virtually none of it is really up to me, but that doesn't lessen the sense of disappointment I feel all too often in our global community and certainly our country. And it certainly hasn't stopped me from pushing onward.
Of course, I've always toiled in government service and non-profit kinds of jobs because I thought it was the right thing to do, and that sort of work has always married well with my philosophy of politics and the world (whether anyone agrees with it or not).
Now, my reasons to keep fighting the demons -- in whatever form they take, and whether they be my own or those that plague society -- or to make peace with my neighbors have been born anew. Or will be some time in late April.
And I will be a better man for it.
Of course, it's my hope to one day stand with my son and have him tell me we are better men for it.
Emeline, by the way, is doing well. She's at a great age, and she is doing a lot of talking, now.
I love it when she says her brother's name: "Finn". We're working with her on the pronunciation of the full name: Finnegan Fawkes. Fawkes, by the way, is from Duncan's side of the family. She is a direct descendant of Guy Fawkes, of Guy Fawkes Night in England (Remember, remember the Fifth of November...). It's a name from her mother's side of the family. You might be familiar with the more relevant reference to the weird masks everyone wears at Occupy Wall Street events and from the movie V for Vendetta.
Finnegan is just a name we really love.