David Sedaris has an essay called "Genetic Engineering," and in it is a line to the effect of "I still don't understand how a man could father 6 children with whom he has absolutely nothing in common." We just read it in my English 1101 class, and it's a striking concept. I pondered this kind of thing more when V was smaller, but until yesterday hadn't thought of it again in some time. She's just V. She likes things, she doesn't like things, she freaks out, she learns to handle stuff, she loves us, she gets mad at us, she makes up words and songs and stories.
But her father and I are so different from each other. What will that do to her? Will she love sports and TV and video games? Will she love words and crafts and bluegrass music? Or all of the above? Or none of the above?
Seeing a human unfold before our eyes is the greatest privilege of parenthood, and one I had never even considered before she was born. Maybe that's good, because it's such an immense world. I somehow thought she would just be a sum of our parts; Jen plus Shaun equals V. But she's so much more. She's my parents and his parents and all our grandparents and all that swedish/irish/ german/dutch/norweigan mess that we've become. She's a child of the millenium; as the class of 2023, she will grow up in a world so different from the world of our childhoods.
May it be gentle with her, and with all of us.