Category Archives: #TYMMPB…

TYMMPB … | Touch Matters

I’ve had lots of discussions about the power of human influence. There’s much to cover. What is it that we can do that puts us in the greatest position to impact another person. To affect another person.

Quote after quote talks about the power of words. The impact of words. Our greatest drug. What they have more power then.

Words.

But there’s a funny thing about words. They’re easy. And so, though on the high end, they may have the ability to move, to build, to halt, to destroy, to inspire, to elevate, to bewilder, to deflate. On the highest of ends I see that. I get it.

But you can also throw words away. You can lose them. They can leave you before you pass a thought.

That’s the range of words. You know what does words one better?

TYMMPB | August - Hand

Touch.

Touch can be beautiful. Touch can be devastating. But it is always acknowledged. It is powerfully deliberate. And as a result, it’s rare to have touch that isn’t meaningful. Impactful.

I’m not saying it can’t be accidental. But you give it your own whirl and tell me, in the end, which made the greatest impact. A casual word, or casual contact.

Elbow. Cheek. Hand. Head. Shoulder. Waist. Knee.

More than a thousand words, son, I tell you, placing your hand on any one of these places can erase the need for words. Can show us the limitation of words.

Today you make me proud because you get it. I tried telling you that, but I grabbed your two fingers and held on through the night instead.

Because. Touch.

 

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TYMMPB… | Being Silver and Exact

I don’t think you will ever realize the weight on your shoulders. Actually, the expectations cast as glances, shadows, dreams upon you. Even at this age — 2 months today — every person who looks at you has expectations.

It’s not easy. I failed often, and miserably — often miserably, miserably often — with that same weight on my shoulders. But watching you this past month gives me extraordinary peace. Because I realize something you do extraordinarily well already is reflect back to all of these people what they expect of you.

When your sister sings to you, you indulge her voice, her pitch, her volume, her passion and even, her sometimes unknowing heavy handedness. She can’t help it. It’s love.

When your mother feeds you, you indulge all she has to offer you. Her nourishment, sure, but her love, her warmth, her hold, her comfort. You take it all in furiously and give it back, cheek to cheek.

When your Dadiji and Naniji come to visit. And know this, between them, you’ve had a grandmother here for about 7 of your 8.5 weeks. When they come to visit you let them hold you, hug you, change you … you reflect back all of the extraordinary, pure and intense love they direct your way by being. In their arms. Being.

I mean wow. Look at how much happiness you bring people by doing nothing other than being?

That’s you. A mirror for all of our love. Incredibly patient. Hell, you went 6 days without dropping a deuce, going to borderline jaundice, and the only thing we could tell the doctor was “yeah, he’s … a little fussy? we guess?” At two months you managed to calm our nerves by not letting the world phase you. A mirror that managed to bend and reflect back even our own insecurities in beautiful ways distorting them into something calm, simple, beautiful. Handsome.

Maybe you’ll go a life time being that reflection to all around you. It’s something powerful. People need to see in you their best selves. People do see in you their best selves.

Watching you work your way through month two has made me realize that I can be that better mirror, too. For your mom. For your sister. For your grandparents. For all the people in our lives. Thank you for making me proud, Jaanu. But thank you more for teaching me the importance of reflection … and reflecting. Literally, in some cases. Like this video.

Happy second month, son. You continue to change our lives in ways we never thought possible.

 

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TYMMPB… | Embracing Kipling

BLOG--Jaan ChillingMy son. It’s amazing to say that. The my part is incomparable. The son part was one half of a win:win.

And winning is all it has felt like. One month ago today, and precisely one month ago from the moment I started writing this post (10:49), you were born to us. And you went straight to your mother’s chest where you spent quite a bit of time — and have spent quite a bit of time since. There’s no denying that you will be a momma’s boy. And as a momma’s boy myself, I can tell you, there’s no love like the love you’ll get from your mother.

When you’re old enough to read this, who knows when I’ll share it with you. You may feel slighted. For the first year of your older sister’s life, I wrote frequently. Because the time to do so existed. Such is not the case for you. With you. So instead I’ve decided to write you 12 letters, each on the monthly anniversary of your birth and into your first birthday.

Today, I start by telling you how proud you’ve made me already.

People define masculinity and manhood in very different ways. My definition as always run closest to how Rudyard Kipling encapsulated it in his poem, “If…” Especially the lines I’ve bolded below.

You have managed to make it through the month without being the least bit of hassle or burden. You sleep in the family room. That’s where you make your home. Sister running around the house. Visitors in and out the door. Sunlight through the windows. Pans clanging in the kitchen. TV sometimes on sometimes not. And yet, you go about your day unfazed and unbothered. Attributes that will serve you well.

You have managed to make us feel like great parents even with all the scrambling and distractions around us. You take solace in our arms and by our voices. You make your  mother’s arms your home. You make your sister’s voice your lullaby. You make your nani, dadi, and foi feel like they are absolute experts when it comes to baby whispering.

Don’t believe me? Check out how much your sister adores serenading you. 🙂

At one month, you’ve managed to do what no one month old can ever be expected to do: you’ve managed to enter the world with such fine humility, that even your birth is somehow about everyone else feeling good, valued, helpful, loved.

Today You Made Me Proud By … embracing the spirit of Kipling’s If. I promise to make you proud by learning from your humble lead.

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

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