Well dear Felix, this is the day chosen for you–as so much has been since before your conception, as almost everything will be for the next dozen years, as most things will be after that–to be born into this, not quite our world (though so many of us presume it to be), but the world chosen for us as it was for you, by that mystery hand we should hope never to solve (would we want to be that disappointed by finding it out?) if there even is a hand. You arrived as scheduled rather than on schedule.
So much of what surrounds you right now is not random because it shields you from so much that is, though for all the wonderful uncertainties you are born to a mother and father who will make things a little more certain for you, at least for a while. They made you, after all–of what, from where, we still don’t know, but the not knowing is the wonder of it. We might as well revel in what wonders we have. They even chose the day and time of your arrival: 7 a.m. local time, 9 a.m. your maternal grandparents’ time. That should tell you something about your OCD of a mother, who has nothing on your grandmother GiGi in that regard.
I should note that January 4 was not entirely coincidental. It could have been the 6th, it could have been the 3rd or the 5th. When your mother and I were talking about it, I mentioned that January 4 is the day your great grandfather Fouad was born, in 1930 if I recall. That’s him, to the right, when he was the young man I never knew. Your Mom thought that a great day to be born. And there you have it: one of your first of innumerable little connections you will be made of, threading through you like history’s DNA.
Your parents will be all the world you need for enough time, enough years, that by the time you discover America–every child born on this continent is a Columbus at one point or another, discovering this world as unknowingly as the original Columbus did, but not, let us hope, as meanly–you will want to risk and explore just as you did the universe of your crib or the folds in your your mommy’s burnous, or the crumb in the shape of Texas on your bib. You will never stop until and beyond the day, a mere few days’ hence judging from personal experience, you will have grown up at the speed of light and run off to the Pacific or the Canadian Rockies or the Mountains of Nepal to make your own world of what will be left of the one we call ours, assuming we have not entirely demolished it for you.
I imagine waterlogged Florida will not be on your itinerary by then, nor, most likely, will we, your GiGi and me: our flash in this pan will have gone out by then, which is just as well: the old, you’ll notice, tend unnecessarily to overstay long after we’ve stopped being interesting or useful. It’s your uncle Luka you’ll want to hang out with, whatever universe he’s in: he’s the fun one.
You are our first grandchild so this will be a discovery of our own too, distances notwithstanding: you’re not next door, but you’ll grow up in a world where distances are not what they once were–not when you can see and hear us on your Mom’s latest iPhone (you will notice this about her: she gets the latest model before it’s off of Apple’s design desk) at the swipe of an app, as so much of your world will be seen these early years. Don’t get too lost in those two dimensions, where most people live nowadays for lack of dimensions of their own. There’s something to the folds of that burnous, that Texan crumb or cribbish memories.
Lucky for you, you’ll not know about the future or the past for a while, and for a while you’ll stop time for us too, as our future becomes yours and our world, the one we can call our own, will be the one you pearl every hour to the whorls of your oyster.
–Jeddo Pierre Tristam