Dear Miss Abbey Road…

I was thinking about petitioning to get the bottom of the sign changed to “Daughter of George and Jesy Herron”. Think they’ll go for it?

Dear Abbey Road Herron,

I’ve been thinking about a unique way to tell you what a miracle you are and what an inspiration you are to Mommy and me.  I’ve been wrestling with a way to convey why we named you after an album to ensure that when you are 25 you don’t just tell people who your Dad was a big Beatles fan and general weirdo.  I mean I AM a weirdo, but not like Chris Martin weirdo.  I mean who names their kid Apple?  Really?

For me that album was something that helped me get through the loss of your sister.  I have always expressed my emotions through music.  Not writing or playing music, that would require a talent that I just don’t have.  No, I listen to music.  If I’m in a crappy mood I tend to wallow in it.  I throw on some Staind, Metallica or some Gary Allan and just kind of immerse myself into a cocoon of  misery.  They can seem to convey exactly how I’m feeling and it’s kind of nice to know that someone else was feeling what I feel at that moment.  And I did a lot of this after we lost your sister.  Wallowed, agonized, hurt.

But The Beatles came to the rescue.  Specifically the album, Abbey Road.  Even more specifically the song, Here Comes the Sun.  Like a rescue diver that song and album single-handedly pulled me from the abyss of my own self pity that I had been drowning in.  Here Comes the Sun, was written by George Harrison while playing hooky from work at Eric Clapton’s house.  He sat in Eric’s garden and almost effortlessly belted out the one song that could make me smile even in my darkest hour.  The only song that I could find any hope and salvation in.  The only song that would allow me to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s all right, It’s all right”…..

It’s not lost on me all the symmetry either.  Abbey Road was created in probably the most turbulent time for The Beatles.  They were in the middle of doing a documentary for the Let it Be Album that was going disastrously.  The whole band was starting to feel the pressure of being business men and musicians plus most of them were in relationships that were pulling them in different directions and on top of all that they were still trying to deal with the fact that their manager had died and they needed to replace him somehow.  And despite all that swirling around them, they were still able to record and produce one of the greatest albums of all time.

Much like you, my sweet angel.  You were conceived as soon as the Doctors gave us the thumbs up to try again.  Despite not completely being over the loss of your sister and still trying to find ways to cope and deal with that loss, we got the biggest boost we could imagine, you.  Not that we will ever forget Hope, or minimize her significance in our lives, but I think we needed you, a healthy you to help us get over that.  To help us mend.  To help us know that ….

It’s all right.

Abbey Road also has a wonderful combination of songs that seem to capture all the aspects of The Beatles that any fan would love.  Something, also a George Harrison song, might be one of the greatest love songs that The Beatles ever recorded.  It’s more mature than their early love songs that ring more true to infatuation songs considering how young they were when they wrote those songs.  Octopus’ Garden is a little goofy and maybe even a little trippy.  A light-hearted song at a time when light-hearted was exactly what they needed.  It’s something that you would have expected to find on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack.  Oh Darling! and Come Together give all the rock fans something to be happy about on the album as well.  Both have a bluesy-rock feel to them, but are still the strongest songs on the album to be sure.  And lastly there is the medley ( You Never Give Your Money Away through The End).  Something innovative and creative, something different.  Almost the entire second side of Abbey Road is like a stream of conscientiousness that takes you all the way, appropriately, to The End, which includes the only drum solo that Ringo ever had.

This is my hope for you.  That you can encompass so many different traits and emotions that you will be able to shine no matter what life throws at you.  Like any hopeful parent I want you to be the best version of you.  The Beatles were able to put away all the crap and do what they really loved doing, making music, one last time and in doing so created something beautiful and timeless.  I just hope that your mother and I are as lucky with you!

And lastly, something that is very close to my heart.  I wanted you to be unique.  I was named after my father, which is a great honor, knowing the man who your grandfather is.  But let’s face it, George Robert Herron II isn’t exactly a unique name!  I just want you to be special, I mean you already are to me and your mother obviously, but I wanted you to have a sense of uniqueness right out of the box.

My fear is that when you are in your teens and hate my music and hate just about any opinion that comes out of my mouth that you will hate your name too.  But on the flip side I hope you get enough of your mothers positive disposition and enough of my weirdness that you love your name and realize the power that your name has.  I want you to own the name and make it yours.  Make sure that people know that there was no way you could have had any other name.

You’re not here yet, but already the excitement is too much to handle.  You have a big name to live up to little girl, but given your pedigree you will surpass every expectation and keep shining as my little light at the end of the tunnel.

And I hope that one day you will understand, I write stuff like this down, because I am much better expressing my feelings on paper than face to face.  I don’t think it’s an intimacy issue, I think it is a my brain just functions better when I can have a stream of thought and capture it.  Like a picture with words.  Regardless I love you already.  Hurry up and get here!

Things I realize

Ohhhh, that's why he is screaming like that. He managed to get out of the car seat and is now a decoration on my window!

My brother-in-law has been very sick for the past week. And because of this the family has pitched in and to watch Mason, his and Jami’s son, while Jami has been at work.  Jesy and I have helped out when we could and that has meant taking him last Friday night and also last night.  In doing this there are a couple of things that I have come to realize about having a baby around that I think I knew before, but really comes to light when you have a baby around all day.

  • Just because you think you are ready to be a father doesn’t mean you really are.  Ever since turning 30, I have felt ready (“finally” as Jesy would probably say).  I thought that I had gotten all the selfishness out of my system, or at least most of it.  I thought that I had learned how to control my temper enough to give a child a fighting chance, I mean I have to deal with Carson everyday, how much more trying can a kid be?  The temper still needs work.  It will probably be something I struggle with the rest of my life, I just hope I can learn to control it enough to not let it severely affect my child’s development.
  • My patience still needs a lot of work too.  What is that old saying?  There’s nothing in the world that’s better than the sound of a laughing baby?  Well conversely there is nothing in the world more aggravating than a screaming baby and no solution for what ails the baby. Twice now in the last few days I have gone to pick up Mason and steal him from the living zombie that is Matt and twice now Mason has screamed like he was being murdered by his car seat the entire ride to my house.  I thought kids loved riding in cars?   I thought car rides put almost any kid to sleep?  Not Mason, at least not for me.  And what could I do, I was driving, it’s not like I could reach back and shove the bink (pacifier*) in his mouth, although he would have more than likely spit it out anyway.  So I tried music, not too loud, although I wanted to just to drown out the screaming.  I tried The Beatles first, they have a lot of calming songs plus it was music that I would love too.  Of course the first song was Revolution, probably the least calming song The Beatles have other than maybe Helter Skelter.   I quickly changed the song, ahhh Blackbird, that is a good one, but alas the little man was still doing his best impression of a banshee.  After a couple more tries with The Beatles with no success I try a different tactic.  What is something he would be used to listening too?  Matt and Jami have pretty different tastes in music than me, but I do have some Ludacris on my iPod, so let’s try that.  Nope still nothing.  It wasn’t until five seconds before we pulled in the driveway that Mason finally ran out of steam.  It’s a long trip from Liberty Township to Sharonville with an angry baby.  Road-rage would have had nothing on me.  Situations like that are why people start smoking.  I felt helpless and the more helpless I felt it seemed like the louder he got, it was enough to make me want to stop the car and just get out.  By the time I got home and he had just stopped I just sat in the driveway with the car on letting him sleep and letting me regroup.  That is when it dawned on me that I need to keep working hard to get better with patience, it is still a long road, but one I need to travel.
  • Our house is still nowhere near ready for a baby.  We have nothing to entertain a kid, or worse to put a kid while he/she sleeps so that we can get things done while said baby is sleeping.  When Jesy was home we took turns holding and watching Mason while the other did stuff, doing dishes, making dinner, whatever.  We have no pack and play, no bouncer, no real toys, nothing that would entertain the baby that would give both of us the opportunity to get things done.  Likewise we have nothing to hold the baby or tether it to us making multi-tasking nearly impossible.  All we have is a high-chair, and while that has certainly come in handy it is not nearly enough.  You would think with as much as we have watched my best friends baby, Aayla, and now with Mason we would be better prepared, but we aren’t, and it was no more glaringly obvious than last night.
  • Jesy will make a superior mother.  Is there something better than superior?  Seriously, I was amazed, as I often am with the ease at which she takes on a motherly role.  It was like she was born to be a mother.  Despite the crying and screaming she was calm and did anything and everything to calm Mason down and he responded quite well to her on most occasions.  She also brought the best out in him.  He played with “us” for like an hour before he fell asleep and she was brilliant with him that entire time.  She found little things that he loved to do and would always be interacting with him and making him smile and “goo.”  I don’t know that I had ever heard a baby “coo” and “goo” like Mason was last night, it was incredible and Jesy was 99% responsible.  And I guess that is what makes what we went through recently even more baffling and upsetting to me.  There is not more perfect person to be a mom than Jesy and for her to have gone through what she went through is unfair to anyone, but especially someone who will be such a good mother as her.
  • Mason farts like his father and sleeps like his mother.  I was sitting several feet away and I could hear Mason farting like he was cast in a Fatties movie with Jack Black.   Some people have stream of thought, Mason has a stream of fart.  Is that an earthquake?  Did a train just go through our backyard?  Is there a T-Rex loose in our house?  Nope Mason is just farting….again.  The kid is a champion.  But lets face it, he’s just carrying on a family tradition, congrats my boy you are a Wenstrup.  And how a kid can feel rested after the way he sleeps is beyond me.  Half the time I was holding him while he slept he looked like he was trying to go ten rounds in a ring with Mike Tyson.  The kids arms were moving and swinging with a quickness that Ali would have been proud of.  I know Jami is more known for her conversations in her sleep, but it looks like Mason has decided to take it up a level and do some shadow boxing in his sleep.  I feel sorry for any future girlfriend.

I guess this works, but I'm pretty sure only girl babies should be sucking on it.

  • A baby is exhausting.  I know every mother will scoff when they read this and will just laugh it off as me being a typical man, but I had no idea a baby was so tiring.  How something that only eats, poops, and sleeps can wear an adult out was beyond me.  But then it dawned on me, this little human is relying on me for everything, so I’m constantly on and that is after working for 8 hours already today.  So calm down ladies, the light bulb just went on.  A special shout out to all the single mothers/fathers out there.  Wow, I have no idea how you do it.  Jesy and I tag teamed Mason pretty well last night (does that sound as bad as I think?) and he wiped us both out (yeah it does).

It would seem I have learned a lot in a couple of days, and thank God I did.  There are some things I definitely need to work on, I just hope I can be better.  It’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks.  The good news is that where I fail I know Jesy will be there to pick me up.  My only fear is, and it has been a fear for a long time, ever since we started seriously talking about having kids, will I be good enough?  Looking at Jesy I know she is ready and I know she is good enough, she will be fannnnnnnnnntastic.  I just hope I can do half as good, because I’m scared that I might not be able to be better and our kids will have a broken dad.

*This little footnote is about the pacifier.  How many names does that damn thing have?  Bink, binky, pacifier, paci, mouth plug, scream stopper, fake nipple, nuk, baba, nibbler, and Vin Diesel.  I’m sure there are 100 more as well, but these are the most common ones I have heard.  No wonder English is one of the hardest languages to learn, we give something like a pacifier 2,000 different names.  Good luck kids!

Rant over.