Life in Omaha (in Scottsdale)

daily existence away from chicago

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

First of all, my apologies to all that received an email that inadvertently suggested that Spike was actually here. I should have predicted that sort of reaction with such a loaded subject line. Spike is still in residence at his previous home.

Baby names. Who knew that chosing a name would be the existential dilemma of all time for me. Far more fraught than the actual conception (which was a whole 'nother dilemma), bestowing a name on the child seems to possess far greater significance than merely bringing her to life. The physiological creation is nothing compared to the pure performative act of--burning bush-like--to decree that thou art "Hortence" and will be for all time immemorial. Sure, its easy for gods and kings to do this. They are equipped with divine sanction and can, literally, do no wrong. They are infallible in the same sense that umpires are infallible when calling balls and strikes. "They ain't nothing 'till I calls 'em." But mere parents. Fallible as certain presidents.

The nominative angst I'm feeling most definitely is entangled with the prospect of decades of wrong choices lying ahead of me. The nine months of pregnancy (or in our case, the year and a half of trying and failing) is a perpetual revelation of all the things that can go wrong and an endless list of tasks to try and prevent it. Not that I'm complaining, but the bulk of parenthood so far (and that's without an actual unattached child) has an aroma reminiscent of Homeland Security. Anytime I start feeling comfortable, somebody ups the terror alert another level--and like data that's years out of date, the warnings are predicated on such a statistical insignificance that acting on them is akin to staying away from the church bingo because Al Quaida was scouting casinos.

This is all to say that we've at least eliminated the names Osama and George (unless it's a boy).


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