By Ernie McCray
Lyric Allen Anderson arrived on this earth on May 29th, 2013. He’s become the tenth person I can claim as a grandchild and every one of them is dear to me. But this beautiful baby boy is particularly special in that he’s the first to carry within his veins the blood of his Grandma Nancy, who passed away four years ago, and mine. She was my valentine and I welcome Lyric Allen to the world in behalf of both of us.
Oh, I don’t know if I can describe what it felt like holding him in all his raw innocence, for the first time, as what words can convey how one feels when one of the dearest beings in the world to him gives birth to someone equally as cherished? I’ll portray it as simply a wonderful moment in time.
And we’re just the family for him. I mean he was due on Wednesday of one week and didn’t as much as take a peek until the Wednesdayof the next week – and we can relate to that. We are true blue late kinds of folks, disciples of “Hey, we’ll get there when we get there or sometime thereafter” kind of thinking. So he passes the muster with us, with flying colors.
But, man, I’ve never wanted to welcome anyone into the world more than this little one. And I know I speak for other cardholders on my Family Tree as well.
We, collectively, were but a breath away from the moment he would arrive. His uncle and his dad camped out in his birth room as though they were out in the great outdoors. His great aunt and his aunt booked a hotel room nearby. I retired in my own bed at home with my iphone nearby, as prepared as a Boy Scout for the call indicating that Lyric Allen was ready to make his grand entrance. My task then was to relay the good news to mi querida so we could hightail it to the blessed event.
Well, there were no calls that night but, voila, at 4:46, on the next day, there he was. One of the most un-beat up looking, good looking babies I’ve ever beheld, his face so round and smooth, like in a shaving commercial, his body thick to the tune of nine pounds and an ounce, like a linebacker on steroids, with one of his ears like Dumbo’s (as opposed to his grandmother who was born with two Dumbo-like hearing organs), big hands and big feet – and his mother delivered him as though she performed such miracles everyday. I was, at best, impressed. Give me five, baby girl!
And as I stood there, mesmerized, taking him all in, I couldn’t help wondering what he was going to do in life. Dude just got here and I’ve got him in med school and on the Yankee’s roster. But, hey, who knows what’s in store for that little bundle of joy? But we’ve got him covered. He landed in a family of readers of books of all kinds and poets and songwriters and essayists and journalists and singers and actors and piano players and flutists and clarinetists and guitarists and percussionists and French Horn blowers and photographers and athletes (rock climbers, runners, joggers, walkers/hikers, swimmers, basketball football volleyball slo-pitch softball and tennis players and surfers) and artists and animal and nature lovers and educators and a dreamer of a better world who wakes up every day to make his dreams come true.
I was also compelled, in those moments, to reflect on my mortality. After all, I’m 75, closer to the bone of my existence, and Lyric Allen’s age, for a while, will be measured in days. And I wanted, right then and there, to change the world immediately like a magician pulling rabbits from a hat, leaving him, when my days come to an end, with a world that is as good as a world can be. Like Mighty Mouse I wanted to claim “Here I come to save the day!” and proceed to:
snatch all the drones from the air like Dwight Howard gathering record numbers of rebounds, crying “Keep that out of here!” with a “Not on this planet!” attitude and stop the wars like an overly enthusiastic safety patrol at a school crossing; end poverty like a trillionaire with nothing else to do; empower the disenfranchised like a loving and caring new age king; make schools relevant-exciting-children-
But, alas, the world is not big on true life fantasies. So all I can do is love him as completely and unconditionally as I can and continue to pursue the making of a better world with whatever degrees of power that are accessible to me. And in that love he will also feel the love of his Grandma Nancy because her love is an indelible part of my very being, so intertwined with mine, and that of our children, too.
I’m talking a lot of love. Lyric Allen is in for a life of hugs and kisses and high fives and caresses and enough back up for him to pursue whatever his life dreams will become – full on.
But right now I’m just going to bask in just knowing that he’s finally here, that our life together has just been born. Here we come, world!