Because You Are Awesome And I Miss You.

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I am so grateful and tickled and touched by all of your love and support and kindness. The amount of people who have reached out to say hello and congratulations and all sorts of nice things is incredibly moving. Wonderful people from so many times and places in my life have popped up to say a good word or throw down a Facebook like, and it just reminds me how lucky I am to know such fine folks. It’s encouraging to be bringing a new life into a community, spread out as we all may be, of caring people.

I admit though, it is pretty irksome at times that modern technology allows us to feel as though all the amazing folks we have ever known are right at our fingertips, but at the same time, the rhythm of life and the rules of the time-space continuum prevent us from actually keeping up with all the good people. I mean, I Facebook stalk you all when I can, and I totally rejoice in your awesome adventure photos, hilarious work anecdotes, tasty food pictures, and various other tidbits that give me a sense of where you are and what matters in your life. But it’s so not the same as just hanging out. I wish to pieces I could sit down for coffee (no, tea, no, juice, maybe, water…in my current prego state), or go on a hike, or make dinner for each and every one of you.

I am curious to know where your life has taken you. What are you doing; where you do you live; who do you love? What’s your current obsession, your next big plan? Is life an up, a down, a sideways, lately? Nothing would make me happier than to get word of you. If you leave a comment or send a message with a bit of news on life, I promise to write back. The time-space continuum can go kick rocks—I promise.

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Introducing…

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Okay, so I’ve been holding out on you.

This is Little Bean. He will be joining us in early December. I don’t anticipate that we will put that on his birth certificate, but until the whole family agrees on something definitive, I like having something to call him other than “tiny, magical being who makes me extremely nauseous.”

So yes, I am about three-and-a-half months pregnant. And very excited. Also very impatiently waiting for the early pregnancy boat-travel symptoms to wear off.

I don’t know what to say, you guys! I anticipated writing a very long and thought-provoking thing about the reflection that goes into having a child in conjunction with commitments to the Dharma. It’s an interesting subject with so many angles. And yet, I can’t seem to sit down and be academic about it all because I keep glancing at this photo of this person who I am getting to know right as he’s entering this life, and I sort of just get dazed.

I also thought about writing a clever, semi-snarky article about all the essential pregnancy foods that don’t exist in France. You’d think a country known for its cuisine would be more on top of it, but I guess the demands are so personal and specific that I can’t really take them to task for it. While getting all my culinary/nutritional gripes down on paper still does sound like a whole lot of fun, I am currently having the same basic mental reaction.

I kind of just want to keep pointing at my tummy and being like, “Guys. There’s somebody in there!”

What does it mean?

There are so many reasons to have a kid or not. You get x-amount fewer hours a day to devote to all the rest–meditation, study, volunteering, personal projects, your partner, sleep. You become a slave to a being who, for most of its existence, could pretty much care less about all you’ve given to feed, clothe, educate, and entertain it. If you have particular time-consuming plans like long-term retreat, you deliberately delay them a good twenty years, and with full knowledge that all your friends and study buddies may go off together while you’re busy with somebody’s angsty adolescence.

And at the same time. You get to experience the unconditional love that naive new beings feel for their parents. You get to experience the unconditional love that being the parent of a naive new being gives rise to in cynical, old beings. You get the joy of bringing a being into the excellent conditions of a human life connected to the Dharma and the challenge of being as generous and kind to that being as possible. You get a watertight, irrefutable excuse to watch animated movies, eat Goldfish (if you live in a country where they actually exist, sniff), go to the fair, and decorate the house for every holiday ever.

Basically, as far as I can tell, there is no math for deciding to have a child or not.

I think it’s quite simple in the end. We wanted to have a kid. Like any choice on the path, there is no objective algorithm that determines whether or not it will take you in the right direction. All of the reasons that we can cite are just our reasons. Now, there’s somebody in there. And so we just get to do our best to give him the best conditions possible to make use of his precious human life while continuing to work on doing the same ourselves.

And, of course, go on being giddy about the whole thing. Because well, on a relative level, some choices are still more exciting than others, and this one rates pretty damn high.