Archive for September, 2007|Monthly archive page

Peculiar Graces: Twenty-Thousand Roads I Went Down, Down, Down, and They All Led Me Straight Back Home to You

In Allison, Jonah, Peculiar Graces, Pitt, Pittsburgh, Uncategorized on 10 September 2007 at 3:44 PM

We are home. And we want to say thank you. Thank you, all you people who wrote to us and called us, to offer your friendship and support and love: for three days Alli and I saw only one another, and nurses, and doctors, and thermometers, and machines that go Ping!, but, for all that isolation, still we felt surrounded, and we felt your care, and your concern, and your happiness; that is to say, you have been with us nonetheless, and we are grateful. Every five or ten minutes, it seemed, there was a new little note to read, or another voicemail to hear, and man, I can’t tell you how good it felt to know you were thinking of us.

Thank you, all you who came to our house, while we were still in the hospital, to give us meals—we found them in our fridge when we got home (which means now we’re changing the location of our “secret” key), and we can’t wait to eat.

Thank you, all you who walked our dogs, those poor, pitiful creatures whom we used to call The Kids, and now whom we just call The Dogs.

Thank you to whoever washed our dishes. That was an enormous help.

Thank you, Lisa, for making the banner.

Thank you, Jillian and Hillary, for the card and the flowers.

I named this blog thing Peculiar Graces. That is not a secret. You see the title above. But let me tell you a little about it, so I can make my point. It’s a phrase from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, one which is very beautiful. Adam and Eve are in the Garden, still innocent. It’s the morning, and Adam has just woken up. He looks at Eve, who is still sleeping, and having bad dreams. Adam, whose sleep was “airy light,” has been taking in the glory of the morning, which brought him all kinds of wonder, but

…So much the more
His wonder was to find unawakened Eve
With tresses discomposed and glowing cheek
As through unquiet rest. He on his side
Leaning half-raised with looks of cordial love
Hung over her enamored and beheld
Beauty which whether waking or asleep
Shot forth peculiar graces.

And so I want to tell you: this, by those words, feels like my new life. I am surrounded by peculiar graces everywhere. By Alli’s face during labor, every time she pushed, every time she bore down—that sad and pretty pain, how awful, how gracious, how vulnerable—and her face seemed at once to rule the world and to beg me for help. By bringing her food and water and everything else she asks for. By lack of sleep. By watching Alli nurse our son. By hearing him moan when he’s cold. By letting him suck the tip of my nose because he’s rooting, and Alli is on her way. By watching him sleep.

In just three days, in only these past three days—I have been told one thousand secrets. They are secrets now that seem I have known forever, secrets I wish I could tell to everybody. They are peculiar graces shot forth: they began when I watched Alli’s face in delivery—when I understood all of existence, when I understood Adam watching Eve—and they move forward into all those years I cannot see now, but which I feel every time I hold my son.

Please, if you are in town, come visit us. If you aren’t in town, come anyway. I want to show him to you, and I want to tell you everything I have ever known: This is my son. This is my son. This is my son.

Peculiar Graces: So Now Then

In Allison, Jonah, Peculiar Graces, Pittsburgh, Uncategorized on 8 September 2007 at 10:03 AM

He has arrived. Alli pushed for about an hour, and he came out crying right away. Six pounds, six ounces, and hairy like a monkey: a true Delgado.

More soon.

Love to you.

Peculiar Graces: Soon And Very Soon

In Allison, Jonah, Pittsburgh, Uncategorized on 8 September 2007 at 7:06 AM


Okay: Last time we checked (and by we I mean—the doctor), Alli was dilated to 9cm. This is close. We are getting there. She’s sleeping now. In the next couple of hours, we’re thinking, maybe: Push. Woo!

Peculiar Graces: Two Poems for Right Now

In Allison, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Jonah, Peculiar Graces, Rudyard Kipling, Uncategorized on 8 September 2007 at 4:34 AM


We Were Very Tired, We Were Very Merry

by Edna St. Vincent Millay

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
It was bare and bright, and smelled like a stable
But we looked into a fire, we leaned across a table,
We lay on a hill-top underneath the moon;
And the whistles kept blowing, and the dawn came soon.

We were very tired, we were very merry—
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry;
And you ate an apple, and I ate a pear,
From a dozen of each we had bought somewhere;
And the sky went wan, and the wind came cold,
And the sun rose dripping, a bucketful of gold.


We were very tired, we were very merry,
We had gone back and forth all night on the ferry.
We hailed, ‘Good morrow, mother!’ to a shawl-covered head,
And bought a morning paper, which neither of us read;
And she wept, ‘God bless you!’ for the apples and pears,
And we gave her all our money but our subway fares.

If
by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master,
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Peculiar Graces: Here We Are Now. In the Thick.

In Allison, Jonah, Peculiar Graces, Pittsburgh, Uncategorized on 8 September 2007 at 1:01 AM


Friends,

It is 5AM. We have been in the hospital now for three hours. Alli has been given her epidural, and now feels, she says, like she’s sitting in a bowl of soup. Everything is going smoothly. By everyone’s best guess, Jonah should arrive around noon, or maybe a little later, today.

We’ve been up all night. We even went to a party last night—of a bunch of MFA kids, at Chuck’s house (that’s our fearless leader). Alli was having contractions the whole time, and I had this stupid piece of paper, covered in times, keeping track of her contractions. Every time she had one, she nudged my arm, then, for about a minute, she did not say a word—because contractions, in case you didn’t know, really hurt.

So then we left the party, and drove home—but every time I drove over a bump, Alli was ready to divorce me. When we got home, we watched some TV. A few hours later, the contractions were heavy and regular and full of fight, so we came here. They wheeled her upstairs, and now I have this uncomfy couch-bed-thingy to sleep on, while she sleeps on her side in the hospital bed. She’s not uncomfy, though, because she still feels like she’s sitting in soup.

Our midwife, Randi, isn’t on call right now, but maybe by later this morning, she will be. We hope so—we really want her around for this.

More soon. Sleep now.

Love to you.

Carlos & Alli

Peculiar Graces: False Alarm or Maybe Not

In Allison, Jonah, Peculiar Graces, Pittsburgh, Uncategorized on 7 September 2007 at 8:27 AM


Friends,

Alli has had some Maybe Signs this morning—that is, signs of Maybe We’re Going Into Labor Now—and we have been timing contractions, and we’re still in the Maybe Boat: we can’t tell one way or the other whether we are actually beginning the thick of it soon. Of course, if we do, we will say so.

Love to you.

Carlos & Alli