Twenty-four years ago tomorrow, a boy child was born in Arlington, Virginia.
Eight pounds, eight ounces.
Half-Chinese and half-Caucasion (with some Potawatomi Indian blood thrown in for good measure).
I happened to be the fella who cut William Eli Moore’s umbilical cord, literally.
But I admit to having no intention of ever cutting the cord, figuratively.
Because having that boy child was the primary defining moment in my life.
And, man oh man, getting to that point was not easy.
The thought of bringing a child into this cold, cold world terrified me, back when I was a newspaper reporter.
What if he suffers from a birth defect like me?
What if he’s mocked for being a “halfie”?
What if I’m a bad Dad like my alcoholic father?
What if I can’t make enough as the sole bread-winner to pay for him to have a good life?
What-Ifs just engulfed me.
Even so, a boy child was born.
Proud Dad Thoughts
Why does this all come to mind today?
In a few hours, my son will give a birthday concert for 30 or 40 members of his family and his eclectic group of friends.
He will perform his unique and brilliant music, which is influenced by the oldies, the goodies, the jazzies, and God above.
As per always, I will video his performance, and marvel at this young man’s extraordinary talent.
I will also marvel at his faith, heart, mind and courage.
Just a few hours ago, I read his submission to New Zealand’s Parliament opposing a Bill that would redefine (read “undermine”) traditional one-man/one-woman marriage.
Eli’s submission is very much his own, and significantly different from mine, which is appropriate, because he is very much his own man.
He uses more precise arguments because he was blessed with a Catholic formation and better rhetorical skills than his old man.
Even though my son is on the “wrong” side of this P.C. issue (according to left-leaning media and powerful special interest groups), and even though his view has cost him friendships and may cause him professional harm, he also wants to make an oral submission on the Bill.
That takes guts. Big time.
But as the late Bishop Fulton J. Sheen opined, “America, it is said, is suffering from intolerance — it is not. It is suffering from tolerance. Tolerance of right and wrong, truth and error, virtue and evil, Christ and chaos. Our country is not nearly so overrun with the bigoted as it is overrun with the broadminded.”
Ditto, New Zealand.
Looking down life’s long road, I have no idea what the Good Lord has planned for my son.
In the short-term, I suspect he’ll work as a musician on cruise ships. (“Get paid to see the world, without having to kill anyone, woot!”)
In the mid-term, I expect him to write more brilliant music, some of which will make him a few quid, some of which will probably cost him, because he supports unborn people and such.
A bit later, I expect him to find and marry an amazing woman who God even now is preparing to be his wife and the mother of his children.
Or, who knows, he might even be a priest. A great priest.
Only God knows.
But in the meanwhile, I will enjoy his company as often as I can: walking the dogs, watching movies, arguing about everything, going to Mass, listening to his tunes, laughing at his idiosyncrasies, and wincing when he grouses: “Dad, I opened my mouth, and you came out, and it wasn’t good.”
This will be enough.
Although it no longer seems likely that I will be a famous writer, I am absolutely certain that my son will do very special things in this life.
And since I will never cut the invisible umbilical cord that joins us, I will be right there.
Wondering how on earth someone as flawed as me, could have played a role in spawning and raising such a fine young man.
Love you, son.