It’s a Girl!

Meet my new granddaughter: 6 pounds, 12 ounces, bats left, throws right.

Sometimes the ocean churns, and sometimes the ocean sings.

So, happy to report that on her due date, May the 2nd, 2021, the lovely and patient older daughter had a daughter. That’s right, my little girl had a little girl.

The world stopped. Nothing mattered, not the markets, not the mortgage, not even baseball, though if we were allowed into the maternity ward, I’d have definitely brought my infielder’s glove.

With a face round as a sunflower, she was born at 7:52 Pacific time, on a balmy May evening. I think she looks like Ron Santo. Everyone else says her mother.

Tale of the tape: 19 inches, 6 pounds, 12 ounces, bats left, throws right, definitely Major League material. Strong, direct eyes, the kind that sit on a curve ball, lacing line drives over the shortstop’s head. A nose that favors her late grandmother. Or maybe her daddy.

Honestly, I see traces of both families. I’m not being diplomatic. This baby has the complexion of a Rembrandt peach, sort of inevitable, given the glowing color wheels of her mom and pops.

The labor was exhaustive, the mother was brave, the dad kept us posted throughout the 23-hour ordeal, since we couldn’t wait on site.

Dr. Bliss, who delivered her, gets the win. That’s actually the obstetrician’s name: Dr. Bliss.

So, total bliss is achievable, if you find the right person. On arrival, the nurses wrapped her like a burrito. Happy Cinco de Mayo, my cachorro!

There is no joy like this joy. Profound is too weak a word. Of all the major milestones, a birth is best — the most irreversible and euphoric.

A baby is the ultimate bet – “Like the future in a basket,” in the words of Lish McBride. This one will likely live to see New Year’s in 2100. Just imagine how old Ryan Seacrest will be by then?

You know, you can always pick another college, or another mate. But babies are forever. They are, as I’ve said before, the heartbeats we leave behind.

I mean, literally. My wife Posh passed more than two years ago, and I think I detect her diamond dimple in the baby’s left cheek. Certainly, you see her shadows in her calm countenance, in the oval of the face.

Really, I should just run the photos and a short caption: “A Child Is Born,” as per the classic Thad Jones ballad.

She’s a beautiful piece of music, to be sure. Our newest hymn.

I should just run the photos and a short caption: “A Child Is Born.”

If she’s anything like her late grandma, think of the much-needed kindnesses she will bring to this angry, bloated world. Think of the smiles and Easter dresses and the shiny patent-leather shoes.

Aunt Rapunzel cried for two straight days, then bought out Nordstrom’s newborn department. The last new baby in our family was Uncle Smartacus 18 years ago, and he was relieved to give up that distinction.

Everybody seems to be holding it together, especially new daddy Finn, who texted: “I literally just burst into tears when the new day shift nurse told me how adorable and perfect she is.”

Can I ask you, “Whatever happened to strong silent types?

Well, I suppose they were never that strong, actually — just another American myth. I’ll take me a loud blubbery mick anytime.

So, props to the proud mama and papa for handling it all so well, on their own, in these strange and teary times.

A first grandkid is destined for a certain amount of fuss and fanfare. I think little girls weather that better. Little boys have a stronger need to be left the hell alone. But that’s just my take, and I’m usually wrong.

What a grandpa I will make. I buy my watches in drug stores; I bet racehorses based on their names; I slip an extra yolk in every omelet. From all appearances, I seem to be dating my own Siberian wolf.

Some men are born to greatness, to put their names on buildings, their handprints in cement. Some are born to be grandpas. I fall into the second category. I also fall – on occasion — into my own soup. Always been a grampy sort of guy.

What fun we will have. She will teach me to make pancakes; I will teach her to trap a soccer ball. The sports world may never recover.

The baby was named for her parents’ late mothers: Catherine Margaret Finn. She’s a fusion of Irish and Italian, with a bit of French and Ukrainian.

Like a trendy LA eatery.

It speaks to the fickleness and beauty of American breeding habits, how someone from Sevastopol, married someone from Sicily, whose Brooklyn-born granddaughter snagged someone from the prairie (me), who had a daughter who eventually met this cheery New Yorker, Finn.

And now they made a baby of all these foreign parts, a child who was conceived and born amid a worldwide pandemic.

What are the odds? I mean, for any of us. What are the odds we’re even here?

Haven’t held the baby yet. Wonder if I’ll remember how? I think you rest the head in the crook of the arm, and with the other hand support the back and butt.

Or is that a football?

It’ll all come back. I raised four babies, so the muscle memory is still in there somewhere. I also have a background in chemistry, psychology, financial failure, coaching, janitorial work, and the millions of practical life skills it takes to raise a child these days.

Posh trained me, so I learned from the best.

She’s standing by to help too, in spirit and maybe more. This was the day she always dreamed of, she was never shy about saying it.

Now you can feel her, even see her in this tiny trinket of a face.

Catherine Margaret Finn.

Hey Poshy. Nice to have you back.


Please give me a rain check on Saturday’s hike, which somehow landed on Mother’s Day weekend and presents all kinds of conflicts. So, Saturday’s Hollywood Hills hike is scratched and will be rescheduled for later in May. Meanwhile, look for books, t-shirts and other ways to support this venture at ChrisErskineLA.com. If you missed it, you can also find my recent tribute to mothers. Thank you.

38 thoughts on “It’s a Girl!

  1. I don’t usually cry before breakfast, but in this case, I will join the pack. Welcome, Catherine Margaret. We have all been awaiting your arrival. Your Grandpa did a super job of relaying your stats and what makes you the Most Special Girl in the World. You will always be that to him. We are so happy for him and you and your whole big, ❤ loving family.

    1. What a wonderful read! Congratulations and blessings to all of you! Catherine Margaret will have her angels in heaven dancing through the clouds!

  2. Mazal Tov indeed. And just in time to bring the joy back to Mother’s Day. She is lovely’

  3. She is beautiful. Congratulations to all of you. I can feel your smile (the biggest one ever!) through your writing. Hoping she has an Irish sense of humor, and Italian temper, a French palate, and Posh’s mane. I’m sure the angels are dancing…

  4. Congratulations on the new loaner. She belongs to God, as do we all. Such protection she will have with Grandma Posh at home plate and Grandpa Grampy in the outfield. Plus, there’s Irish in her blood, and, as my aunt would say, we’re the best people. Catherine the Great, long may she reign.

  5. WOW… she is perfect. This brought a swell to my heart, and a smile to my face. God Bless your perfect little girl.

  6. Congratulations and welcome to the grandparent club! I am a new member myself, 3 weeks in! My littlest little girl had her own little girl too! How lucky Catherine is to have a grandpa like you. She is gorgeous. Enjoy every minute of the time you get to spend with her, she is indeed a treasure. Best wishes to the new parents!

  7. Congratulations! Oh she is perfect! Practically perfect in every way! So happy for all of you!

  8. Congratulations!! And I agree. My lovely and patient oldest granddaughter has weathered first grandchildom with grace, dignity, and an iron will that demands toys!

  9. Mazeltov, your beautiful words made me cry too, little Catherine Margaret is beautiful , she will bring such joy& fun to you all.

  10. Congratulations Grampy!! You have no idea how your life just changed. You think you do, but you don’t. Grandchildren are the best, the absolute best. When my first granddaughter was born, there was Molly and there was everybody else. Catherine Margaret is totally beautiful. You will channel Cathy’s love and add your own in unmeasurable amounts. Congratulations to you, Emily, Jack and especially Jessica and Finn. So happy for all of you. And, yeah, you hold her just like a football [unless she’s sleeping on your tummy with your arms wrapped around her]. Grandy

  11. Oh Chris so happy for you all: life lives on in our grandchildren…it will be more that you could have ever imagined…

  12. Adding my voice(and Susan’s) to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir of joyous hosannas this post is going to elicit. It’s a spectacular event and, as expected, inspired one of your all-time best responses. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. We send our love and prayers for a glorious future to Catherine Margaret, her parents, her uncle, and the old geezer who somehow evolved from a Midwestern Dennis The Menace into a patriarch.
    Mazel Tov, Pa Cartwright!

  13. That is truly a beautiful baby!! Congratulations to all involved!!

  14. Congratulations Chris! What a beautiful column, and so true! You life is forever changed now that you are grandfather! Pete and I just adore our grandsons, there is nothing better!

  15. Once again, I find myself with a goofy smile on my face, and happy tears in my eyes. Your observations tie the generations together in shared love & hope for the future. Congratulations to all, & we all look forward to columns about the wee one’s interactions with the world!

  16. Congratulations to you & your family and here’s hoping for a life of health and happiness. From one Cub fan to another – Please don’t let her become one of us!!!

  17. So happy for you. Live goes on & now you have such happiness in your whole family. Mazel Tov

  18. How beautiful! Congratulations on your new little granddaughter. Cathy would be (and is) over the moon 🌝

  19. Tears (of joy!) welcome to the world Catherine Margaret Finn, you will love it here! and welcome to the Grandparents Club my friend, she is beautiful, bright and well… perfect.

  20. This piece is a fastball straight down the line, buzzing with that little glow even an edgy fine hitter could find mesmerizing, and momentarily forget what he’s there for. What a lovely rose the little girl is, Spring’s mortal ecstasy in sumptuous floral prose…

    This piece is rich with the earthy yet lyrical perfection of grandparental love, that near-far state of mind that never leaves once it inhabits your psyche. How else could one arrive at this most logical dictum: lavish unconditional affection on grandchildren without consequence. It is your right and duty and eternal pleasure. Let parents and the world square any corners you have cut or rounded. The parents hit it out of the park, but you get to run the bases with them. Everyone should experience unconditional love, and this girl’s going to get it !

  21. Beautiful blessings to you and your family, Chris. I am a 2-timing granny myself (Granny Squared ! ) and you will love every minute of it ~ and get ready for a lifetime of “Is that with a C or a K ~?” ! ~~ Granny K

  22. Congrats, Chris, to you and your family. What a blessed event! And you doubly waxed poetic! I know how you feel about Posh not being “here” wo witness this wondrous event – I think of my husband missing marriages, a third grandchild, etc. They should be here. I pray God’s blessings on the new, happy family.

  23. Congratulations Chris! She is beautiful. Tell Rapunzel that she has a shopping soul mate. I, too, bought out the newborn section when my sister had her first baby, but I think it was Marshall Fiellds.

  24. Way to go, Grandpa. I love the dimple courtesy of Posh. Baby girl is precious. xoxo

  25. I cried tears of joy and happiness when I read about the newest Angel , newly minted from God, your beautiful ,precious first Granddaughter! She is gorgeous, and already you can see how smart she is from the way her eyes are open, looking at you with such concentration! But the most beautiful,heartfelt,poignant thoughts were about your beloved Posh. She is ,right there, with this little miracle, you will see her in every smile, laugh,and ephemeral look your beautiful granddaughter will ever have in her life. Enjoy and congratulations, no one deserves it more than your wonderful family. God Bless all of you!

  26. Congratulations on your newest greatest gift! She will continue to be so forever as you wallow in the pure joy of her. Enjoy. You’re already there, Grandpa, or Papa, or whatever she decides to call you. You’re in for the greatest ride of your life! We’re there already–we know.❤💕❤

  27. Mazel Tov to you, Chris, and to your whole family. Of course I cried tears of joy while reading about the blessed event. You already love being a Grandpa. Imagine the fun you will have! And Grandpa jokes are the best, so enjoy every blessed moment!

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