So, Saturday, August 26th, after many hours of labor, my wife, Tomoko gave birth to our second child, and my third. Her name is Mena Masako Ross, a name I kinda like, even if the first one was suggested to us by a semi-retired Internet guy on yoga retreat vacation in Mexico, and if only because the middle is the same as Tomoko’s mother, who passed away many years ago.
I don’t have much to say about this experience just yet. Third time may be the charm, but I’m still reeling from the impact of having entered into this social contrat/burden/blessing yet again. She is a lovely little thing, Mena, and Ellie and JP have taken to her immediately, JP, the harsh critic, even conceding that she is cute.
I will share this: earlier today, Tomoko and I decided to take the children out for a short walk around the neighborhood (we’re on family leave–two weeks for me, four months for Tomoko, which isn’t fair, but is the way it is, and something I think mothers might keep in mind as they are debating their capacity to “have it all”). JP sprinted out in front, Ellie trundling along behind shouting for him to wait. I speed walked after, trying to beat Ellie to the corner and make sure she didn’t blunder out into traffic. Holding up the rear were Tomoko and Mena.
We got to one corner, and waited for the light, all five of us, a nice moment, first of many, to be sure. I turned to Tomoko, who had finally caught up with us, and said, “The word that comes to mind is brood, isn’t it?”
She didn’t disagree.