One week and one day ago, we welcomed our second son into the world. Harris Loran Benson was born on October 31st at 12:31 in the afternoon. He came into the world at 20 ¾ inches and a staggering 10 pounds 5 ounces. He let out a wail, calmed down and eased into a delicious mellowness that has yet to lift. This boy is truly a gift to our family. So sweet and easy going you could hardly ask for more in a second baby. He is the type that makes you think (in a haze of hormonal insanity) that you could “totally go for three” as Paul said the other day, while we were gazing at his sweet, chunky face while he snoozed away in my arms. Right. Let's chill on that for a minute.
Today is without a doubt a difficult day to face our children. I took the photo below when I early voted in my city hall. We stopped in the bathroom on our way out to the car, because I spent most of the past two months in one bathroom or another. I snapped a picture of us because, regardless of the outcome, I wanted my son and unborn child to see a photo of the historic day when I was able to cast my vote for the first female nominee to the office of President of the United States. I did not anticipate this particular outcome. I thought we had more sense and decency and more willingness to embrace progress instead of wallowing in fear. Last night, as I nursed Harris and watched the returns roll in, I started to panic a little bit, when it became clear, that this would not be her night. So I shut off the TV and worked instead on being present with my newest little one, looking into his eyes and letting him assure me, that everything would be alright. And it will be.
While I for one would kind of like to cry all day (hello, postpartum hormones, I’m going to cry all day ANYWAYS! Along with inexplicable laughter and almost tactile bursts of joy), I can’t. And we shouldn’t. We simply don’t have time for that. We must stay awake and look forward. And for the current moment, while we feel defeated, scared and anxious, we must draw inward and work on ourselves and our families and our reactions to the world around us. I feel like the only thing I can really do today is to not let global politics steal my personal joy. I have two beautiful, healthy sons and a network of family and friends who have surrounded us in a cocoon of love and generosity and have shared in our wonder and happiness at the arrival of our newest baby. We will raise our sons to be right and good people, this much I know for sure. This is what I have today and this is all that matters. Elections will come and go, the leanings of society will shift and change, sometimes with us and sometimes against us and we will all wake up in the morning (and in the middle of the night for me, for a while). We cannot know what’s next but we can focus on what’s good. And this kid is soooo good it hurts. All my love, Jess