August 25, 2010

Braden Adds to the Gray Family to Make a Full House

As of Tuesday night, after 11 pm, we are officially outnumbered. My wife and I now get the opportunity to contend with three kids, the oldest pair being just over two years old, and the newest, starting his second day as I write. The expansion of the family continues the rapid rate of change brought on with our moving, joining my6sense, and setting other dominoes in motion. One person, in response to the many updates, even included my switch from iPhone to Android as a big move. I guess for any geek this is the case, but the addition of a new member of the family is a huge deal, much more than any operating system, office suite, or handheld.

Like Matthew and Sarah before him, Braden Thomas Gray (his full name) joined us four weeks ahead of schedule, deciding a little over 35 weeks of baking was enough. And as Sarah did in 2008, when the twins arrived, he will be spending a little more special time in the hospital as he gets needed attention.

As many parents know, the act of bringing a child into the world isn't always as beautiful as they show it in the movies. It's not always a few pushes, a cry, a smiling doctor, and a quick cuddle with mom as time of birth, weight and height are announced. It certainly hasn't been this way with us - and last night's experience was far from perfect, even if Braden's smile and fantastic skin show different through the pictures and short video I managed to escape with today. I'll save you the details, but we have had to measure our excitement with concern over the last 24-plus hours, and will keep watching until we get an all clear to take our newest guy home.

I enjoy a lot of things. I think I have more fun than most people. I enjoy interacting with all of you here and in the various places we find each other. I think I listen to more fun music than most people, and I have to self-censor constantly just so I don't ramble on like a comedian who has had a few too many drinks. But nothing has been more fantastic than raising Matthew and Sarah and watching them develop, sometimes slowly, and other times, extremely fast. They are a joy. Braden is here now, and even though I have never held him, or even touched him, he's already part of our family, and has a place.

With his rapid arrival, we're not fully ready. We don't have a car ready for three car seats, one facing backward, and two facing forward (as dictated by law). We don't have a dresser in Braden's room, and haven't found more than two newborn baby boy outfits in our garage, even though we know they are out there from when we did this just over two years ago. But Braden says he's ready, and after a rough start Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, he was looking me in the eyes through the incubator's plastic today, as he took deliberate breaths and balled his fists.

Braden's first YouTube Video

Coming on the back of late Monday's news, you would think I wanted to get everything out of the way in one week, but it's not true. Parenting is not something you get to draw up and then execute against. It takes permanent flexibility, and I look forward to the chance to bring Braden home soon and see just how much flexibility it takes to tangle with a newborn and two two year olds.

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