[ robot ] + [ machine ]


Big Brother

On 21 October our second child was born. We named him Opal Poseidon. Opal is calm and completely at peace with the world that surrounds him— no matter how boisterous that world may be. As the one in the room onto which the title of ‘adult’ is bestowed, this brings me near to the point of sneering at times. His lack of panic shines a bright light on my own neurotic and frantic disposition. I feel out of place in the world and it has never been more clear as when looking in the face of a few-day-old human that simply cannot be troubled. On its own, this would have only minor impact on me; I am the adult, after all, and I have never before let complete panic and insanity keep me from pretending that I know what is going on. The real struggle is with our eldest son, Óðinn. On the whole he is so very wonderful for a two and a half year old person. Helpful, caring, doting on his brother. Everything that you could want and then more. Yet, he has deep and real frustration that seeps to the surface so easily. It is so simple to “just know” that he will be fine— and he really will be— and still it feels like a cheat. The desire is to overcome. Not only deal with trouble as it comes, but defeat it. Know his pain, take it in, understand it, find a resolution, and express to him only the most perfect empathy. The sort of supernatural moment that involves ones hair turning colours and light beaming from mysterious sources. This is the hope. Difficulty comes in the outbursts and tantrums. Unexpected and seemingly impossible to understand or conquer. “Why have I failed?” is the chorus. “In what way have I failed to meet this small and fragile person’s needs?” The answer that I hesitate to allow myself is that these are just the breaks. This is what happens when you disrupt someone’s life. It isn’t fair or just or right, but neither is it unfair or unjust or wrong. It is literally life.