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3 weeks and 1 day ago, our first grandchild was brought into the world. This made us gloriously happy. But it was accompanied by a deep sadness. Because of the pandemic we have had to put off indefinitely flying out to visit our grandson, daughter, and son-in-law. Zoom is just not an adequate substitute for holding and helping care for a newborn.

We fear picking up the virus and bringing it to them. We fear, as people in the more vulnerable age range, getting the thing ourselves. The descriptions of the suffering and death that many have faced with the virus are truly harrowing.

And I worry about what kind of world we are leaving Giovanni Dawson. The pandemic, the looming economic meltdown, a chaotic and nasty public sphere of politics, the climate catastrophe all feel like crushing pressures to face. I am angry about the state of the world. 

And yet, there he is and he makes my heart melt.

I have to remind myself that in the span of time, new people have been born into equally, often far more troubling times. Most of human history has been brutally harsh. Much of the world still faces hardships I can’t imagine surviving. But children manage. Children thrive.

So, on balance, I am comforted to know that Gio will be loved and cared for. And sometime soon we will find a way to hold him. Until then, I have to be satisfied by watching over him like some kind of digital guardian angel.

Sleep tight baby Gio.

Giovanni Dawson
Gio asleep in his crib.