Issue #283 / May 2024

My wife and I are expecting a baby boy next week. All the tests are normal but I seem to swing from terror to euphoria and back again by the minute. Mostly terror! [ ] No real question, I just wanted to let you know.


Dear Marius,

Last Saturday morning, I walked out of the Park Hyatt in Melbourne into a dazzling sun-filled day, having been awake all night anxiously waiting by my telephone. I headed into town and bought a coffee and a sandwich from Pellegrino’s, then walked past Parliament House and up by St Patrick’s Cathedral to Fitzroy Gardens, where I sat on a bench and considered your question.

Of course you are oscillating between terror and euphoria, I thought, because what you and your wife are about to embark on is perhaps the most substantive course of action two people can take – to bring a baby, that fragile interwork of spirit and atoms, that squalling metaphor of conjugal love, that emissary of hope and potential, that boy of joy, into what is, by any measure, a deeply troubled world. I thought about what a defiant and outrageous act of positive intentionality it was, of courage and faith in the human adventure itself, of resistance against cynicism, of pure, undiluted trust in things, and I felt a very real affection for you both.

As I drank my coffee and ate my sandwich, I thought of my son, Luke, and his wife, Sasha, who had welcomed their own baby boy into the world last night, and I experienced a wave of great elation. A breeze rippled across the lawn, the birds cawed, the sun shone high in the sky, and the great gum trees seemed to burst from the ground – all for my own momentary enjoyment, for a new grandfather, sitting on a park bench, on this most happy day. A child is born and the world continues wildly upon its way.

I send you and your wife all my love and admiration, Marius.

Love, Nick


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