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.
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.