Every day since October 12th of this year, I’ve had the joy and privilege of waking up in the morning and staring into to the eyes of Arlo, our little boy. (Though sometimes when he wakes up he’s doing what Nicole and I call “pterodactyl,” which consists of a prolonged groan and a butt-hunched pose that looks awfully like a sleeping silverback gorilla, but his eyes are usually open and I usually gaze into them.)
Arlo has 10 fingers and 10 toes and matching ears and a more-or-less symmetrical face. These facts are still wonders to me. His eyes are getting bigger every day — matching the growth of his cheeks and his marshmallow thighs. This is a profound source of joy. That Nicole was able to give birth to him in relatively safe and normal conditions, and that thus far he’s enjoyed life as a well-cared for and attended-to baby, is cause for celebration. Far too many babies do not get the care they need, do not have the pleasure at drinking milk from a well-fed mother, and aren’t in a position to be whisked off to a doctor at a moment’s notice.
Nicole and I have a roof over our heads — that we own the title for — and food to eat. For that we are thankful. I’m also thankful that I make a decent enough living to give myself the time and mental energy necessary to write blog posts about what I’m thankful for.
I do another thing every morning, after I look at and tend to Arlo and Nicole and try to take in the luck of my surroundings. I start work, managing and building a blog network of, get this, bloggers who want to change the world. Most days, as I walk to the office space I occupy with other writers and bloggers, I try my best to be conscious of it all: that I live in a roomy (albeit a one-bedroom-kind-of-roomy) apartment in a beautiful neighborhood in Brooklyn with my healthy wife and healthy baby, that I live the kind of independent life that keeps me close to home while also allowing me to work hard on a project I care deeply about, a project that I think has a good chance of actually changing peoples’ lives for the better.
At a time when millions of Americans, including my own parents, are worried about losing their jobs, and when everyone seems to agree that things are going to get worse before they get better, I’m amazed that the daily life I described actually pays the bills. I shouldn’t even talk about that, given the economy, but today’s the day to think about these things.
And at a time when people are fearing for their lives in India because of what passports they hold, I’m thankful to be living in relative safety and peace.
I have an extended family that loves my son, and that cares for me and Nicole. We care for them back. Nicole and I met in 1999, and our lives have been intertwined ever since. The whole of those nine years have been amazing and inspiring. For that, I am grateful.
My hope is that next year I’ll be able to write everything I’ve written above, minus the stuff about people losing their jobs and being killed for who they are. Here’s hoping.