You Glow, Girl

This new baby is like a shot of Jameson’s. And about as big.

I personally interviewed this new baby the other day, to be sure that all I was hearing was true.

Some of the highlights:

Like most babies, this one’s a charmer, a con artist…she really owns the room.

Only four days old, this new baby already rolled her eyes at me, confirming she is, indeed, a female.

Was it something I said? Something I ate? As with all women, she won’t tell you, preferring to see you twist in the wind a bit.

I found, instantly, that I could cradle her in one hand, but I used two just to be safe. She is vellum, a whisper, a poem, a tall shot of Jameson’s – pretty much everything I love.

She’s 6 pounds! Seriously, 6 pounds? I’ve had sneezes that weighed more than 6 pounds.

But beautiful? Yeah, I guess she’s OK.

Once I had her attention, I spoke to her a little, sang her the Chicago Bears fight song.

“We’ll never forget the way you thrilled the nation, with the t-formation…”

I cooed. She cooed right back. It was ridiculous. Like a couple of mourning doves. Frankly, we were a little drunk on each other.

I explained that it’s only May, and the Chicago Cubs are already making a valiant bid for last place in their division. In a month, I predicted, they’ll probably have it locked up.

“Wait’ll you meet the Cubs,” I tell her. “They’re like the Marx Brothers of baseball.”

I told her some local baseball trivia. How Dodger fans used to throw packs of gum to Dusty Baker in the outfield. How Glendale cops used to escort Casey Stengel home when he was soused.

I explained the odd rituals of billionaires, and how they’re always getting  divorced, then remarried, then divorced again.

“Best not to marry one,” I told her. “At heart, they are all czars.”

I explained parimutuel betting, and the always confusing 9/2 odds that throw off so many beginners.

I taught her about trifectas. And how to box them.

Her color is good. Her eyes sharp, not muddled, or crusty, as is the usual way of kids in our family, and especially the adults.

I warned her that her hands and fingers were a little too perfect, and that one day she will jam one playing softball or football – OUCH! — probably the middle one, so that it always has a node on the knuckle.

Is that good, Papa?

Well, boys like that, I told her. When you can throw a spiral, boys like that, though I told her not to give a whip about what boys think.

“Like billionaires, boys are cretins,” I told her. But you’ll eventually find one or two you might like.

“And if you ever get to Wisconsin,” I told her, “be sure to order the blueberry pie.”

That was about it. I was going to explain the infield fly rule, and the International Monetary Fund, but it was getting late. And, in truth, I don’t fully understand either one.

Things got quiet. I couldn’t resist brushing my thumb against the softness of her brow. She seemed to like that.  

Next to hers, my skin looks like Russian farm land.

“There should be a line of makeup called baby glow,” I told her. “And maybe a brand of beer.”

One day, I told her, she will put makeup on those cheeks, and lipstick on the lips and that greasy black goo women use to crud up their eye lashes.

Till then, she is nothing so much as a tiny lily. I saw her on Thursday, her first Thursday in the world, and warned her that Friday would be even better – her first Friday.

Like Uncle Smartacus, she seems to have her days and nights mixed up, awake at all hours, then sleeping much of the day.

According to her mom, she is fully awake at 2 am.

“What have we here?” a newborn thinks at 2 am. “Ooooo…boobs?! Ooooo… bottles?! And servants to carry me this place and that.”

Cleopatra never had it so good.

Uncle Smartacus photographs the new family.

You know, a comedian once asked: “Babies? Babies? Why let a stranger into the house?”

Indeed, babies have fallen out of fashion. Many young couples now prefer plants to pets, and pets to babies. U.S. birthrates have fallen steadily the past 14 years.

Yet, the other night, Catherine Margaret Finn, all 6 pounds of her, reminded me of one very important thing: Children give you your childhood back.

All the joys you think you outgrew – ground balls and fireworks shows, freeze tag and Halloween parties – well, kids let you re-live them again.

No one really explains this to young adults; I guess it’s just implied.

Why let a stranger in the house? Because you want to see the world with fresh eyes  again — a little more laughter, a little more hope, a few more ground balls.

And baby glow, of course — a sheen that shames the sun.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there. This will be a particularly joyous one, now that we can gather again. Best to all. Meanwhile, please stay tuned for details on the upcoming Happy Hour Hike, postponed till later this month. For a calendar of events, gear, books, please go to If you missed it, you can also find my recent tribute to mothers. Thank you. Cheers!

18 thoughts on “You Glow, Girl

  1. Superb. Loved every word. You covered all the essentials for Catherine Margaret’s first week on earth. Can’t wait to see what you will advise her about next. Oh, and I know she is going to love all your recipes too!

  2. What a doll baby! So precious. Isn’t it great to be able to hold her right away on her first Thursday? This pandemic made that luxury impossible for so many. You and little Catherine are blessed!
    Nancy 👶💗

  3. Lucky you to have another girl in your life who will adore you as the rest have!

  4. As I said before, she is a lovely rose, a queen of floral essence in the hothouse of the stars. Mazeltov, Indeed. Ask any grandfather—the swoon never ends…..

  5. So happy to see you so happy 😀 You, sir got an early Father’s Day gift‼️♥️

  6. Welcome Catherine Margret!
    We’re blessed with 2 daughters, 3 granddaughters; 2 ginger girls in Seattle and a curly head brunette in San Francisco. I’m one of 3 brothers both have sons.
    🎼Thank Heaven for little girls….3 fingers of fine bourbon for me!!!

  7. Ahh holding your sweet Catherine Margaret! I’m not sure what she’s thinking or trying to say as she gazes at your thumb (she can’t see much farther!) but clearly she adores you. So sweet. Enjoy every minute! And too funny…the Cubs as the Marx brothers of baseball! Depending on the season, sometimes I think the Banana Splits “tra la la, la la la la”

  8. Vellum, whispers,poems, what ephemeral words to describe your precious new joy!!! Again, smart too, look how she holds your thumb with her beautiful tiny fingers! Forget baseball, she ‘s a girl, let her be a girl in frills and bows, playing the piano or the harp or the violin. You’ll get a boy next time out and then you can baseball and football him up. But for now, envision this tiny pink confection in a frilly dress playing Mozart with her tiny perfect hands , looking for beaming approval from her beloved Grandpa!

  9. So precious! What a beautiful way to explain how grandparents get to enjoy our childhood again. Don’t forget to sometimes be a bit naughty. I once gifted our two grandsons with Kazoos. Our horrified daughter looked at me and mouthed “why”. I just smiled….

  10. She is beautiful and precious. There is something about that grandfather- granddaughter relationship.

  11. Oh Chris.
    You’re a goner.
    Over the moon.
    You… you….grandfather, you!
    Bless your heart!
    Bless her dear little baby heart!
    She has you exactly where she wants you…
    totally captivated.

    Lynne Herron

  12. What a sweet post! She is adorable and is going to adore you. But do teach her to throw a good spiral. I always impressed the boys with that one and it’s good to have them walking away realizing a girl can do something better than they can. Keeps ’em humble. CONGRATULATIONS!

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