a few thoughts on my son
Ewan Oliver McCoy was born on April 30th, 2009, 11:30 am. It was raining because April showers bring May flowers, so of course it was raining. Ewan’s original due date was April 4th. For those of you following along at home, yes, he was almost 4 weeks “late” as the folks say, but he came when he was good and ready which is exactly how the boy lives his life today and will more than likely live his life the rest of his days. You can’t force him to do anything. He moves at his own pace, and he will take care of business when he is damn well ready to take care of business, regardless if that business is picking up his toys or being born. Ewan does his thing. Good for him. God help me to cultivate that in him.
If you’ve grown up in church, or if you’ve ever attended a men’s conference, or if you’ve ever watched a Barbara Walters special featuring a dude, like a dude-dude (NASCAR), then you’ve heard the story of when a man sees his first born for the first time and how floored they are at the sight of the newborn and how their heart melted and nothing else mattered, and fill in the blank because we’ve all heard that story. I am not going to discount their experience, nor should I. I will say that my experience when I first laid eyes on my boy was a bit different. It went a little something like this:
(brain): “huh. There really was a baby in there. He kind of looks like every other baby. I shouldn’t think that, this is my firstborn! Ok, wait for that moment that you hear about at all the men’s retreats. Does he have 10 fingers and 10 toes? Ok. This is a baby, and now I have to raise it. Wow, why didn’t anyone tell me we were going to have a baby?! All of those dudes who talk about seeing their baby were full of shit!”
-let me at this point interject a couple of caveats into my brain’s line of thinking. 1) We hadn’t slept in days by the time Ewan came out. 2) I was, honest to God, surprised to see a baby. Some chemical imbalance in me was convinced that Amanda was going to be pregnant for the rest of our lives. 3) I remember being very concerned about him having all of his fingers and toes. I asked multiple people for confirmation. 4) I distinctly remember feeling flawed for not feeling the way all of the “real men” had felt about seeing their first child.
That isn’t to say that I was not totally in love with my son from before I saw his goopy face that day. I’m just saying that I expected a “burning bush” type of moment when the stars align and I am suddenly wise to the deeper meaning of life on this planet and everything is finally in perspective and yada yada yada.
From early on, people have said, and I would agree, that he is an old soul, or has an old spirit to him. He just seems like he knows more than the rest of us about what the hell is happening at any given moment. It’s incredible. He tends to be solemn which is odd for a boy his age. He is wild, and will race monster trucks for hours and play and ride his bike and all of the other rambunctious things that 4 year olds do, but he is also very thoughtful, and he will sometimes sit and think for a good chunk of time. He’ll be lost in thought when I talk to him and he doesn’t respond and when I break his train of concentration I can tell that I’ve interrupted something important and that he’s slightly annoyed with me. I’m working on that. I need to let him think. Today he was silent in the car, gazing out the window and deep in thought. I asked how his day at school was and got not response. I realized what was happening so I just turned on the radio. He was silent for a little while longer and when he snapped out, he asked me if the radio guys were talking about the same Chiefs that we love. He’s around.
Ewan will grab his guitar, sit down and begin working on a song. It is usually an existing song with different lyrics, and a lot of times its either an Autumn in Repair tune, a Wilco tune, or a tune from church. Sometimes you will hear a mash-up of Via Chicago, You’re love never fails, and Freedom Doxology, which I find humorous.
In our house, there is a sub-world of imaginary characters that Ewan has created and those characters are now a part of our daily life and conversations. Let me take a moment to introduce you to them.
Derrick: Started as Ewan’s cousin. He is now a neighbor I think. He just turned 16 because Ewan learned that 16 is the legal driving age and Derrick drives a monster truck. He also plays for the Royals and Chiefs, and I believe he drives Todd’s speed boat on the weekends. When I asked Ewan what Derrick’s middle name was, he paused for a while, looked out the window and said “Eric.”
Marsha: Derrick’s older sister. Little is known about her occupation, but she seems to always be present when Ewan and Derrick do something awesome. Or they are rescuing her from something. Or she is driving a competing monster truck. It varies.
Uncle Neddy: I can’t quite figure out exactly who’s uncle he is, but he seems to be an older gentlemen, tricky and from what I can deduce, almost surely based on Uncle Steve (Jones). He’s always wrecking monster trucks and doing something silly that Derrick and Ewan laugh at.
Cornango: He’s the dog. Ewan describes him as “the biggest thing you’ve ever seen with black and white spots.” He’s a good dog. Ewan takes him out sometimes but he’s often neglected and only makes it in to stories when I ask what Cornango has been up to.
Ewan has all the makings of an artist which both excites me and bothers me a lot. I want him to do something that is a bit less exhausting. I don’t want him to have the make-up of an artist type, but as I re-read this posting, I can see that its happening either way. He’s a storyteller, a songwriter and a dreamer already. Mix an old soul in with that and the permission I’ve already granted by having lived that life, and here we go.
I’ll never be able to prevent him from getting a tattoo or going on the road either. I’m realizing these things now….