Somewhere in the cold of a Chicago night in a building named for a saint or benefactor, little eyes see the world for the first time taking scant notice of a man’s arms wrapped around an exhausted woman. And a tiny curved ear obliviously hears one of these co-creators saying words such as, “I will show you wonderful places, I will tell you about your ancestors, you will learn how the two of us met, and we will be there with you every step of the way. We will listen as your laughter drowns years of wailing and we will put our arms around you at those times when your tears will fill buckets. You have already made 2015 the best year ever and this is the year you start to remember.”
And seven pounds of flesh makes no sense of the words. S/he is as ignorant of that chatter as the fact this New Year marks 50 years since the birth of a most remarkable person who has been with me every step of the way, 100 years since of the establishment of American grandeur, 500 years from the birthday of one who gives me and many more cause to ponder on greater things, and 800 years from the birth of liberty. I must remember that Tina, Rocky Mountain National Park, St. Theresa of Avila, and the Magna Carta mean nothing to this infant.
However tiniest human being…..things like this will soon enough mean something…..this is the year you start to remember.
In a day or two you will leave your room and make you way to a waiting car. You will be bundled and warm save for cheeks that will for the first time feel the sting of the Midwestern cold. It is January 2015 and we are glad you are here. Your father grips the wheel and your mother holds you in her arms. On Clark or Martin Luther King Drive she shows you the church where you will be doused in water and that little café where your story really began. She smiles welcoming you to the streets of this Northside (or is it Southside neighborhood) ….which is her Paris and soon to be your Rome.
It is 2015 and you have already made it a year to remember. Maybe when you are old enough to have laughed a million times, this earth will be a different place. Perhaps there will no longer be roadside bombs, but there probably will be and even if there are not, there will continue to be ugly corners of what is actually a very beautiful place.
I don’t know you tiniest human being, but I wish you well. You have come to a remarkable place which you have made more remarkable still. You will grow up strong and you will grow up vulnerable. You will have so much in the way of story and you will have much to give you and others memory. Welcome to the New Year. I know your little eyes cannot take all of it in and your ears cannot comprehend all the joy in the words that surround you. Someday they will though, because 2105 is the year you start to remember.
Image: Creative Commons Edwin and Kelly Tofselle