I’ve got two kids. I usually write about Lucy because she’s good material. The other one, not so much.
Her name is Kaya Kohler Fox (aka “KK”), named in loving memory of my mother’s “grandma name”—odd tribute, I know.
Anyway, Kaya spoke her first word today, and it made me realize I hadn’t written a single embarrassing blog about her since her birth. This is probably because she is sort of perfect—which makes for bad material on a humor blog—so I’m going to write a nice one instead.
Kaya had one hell of a time getting born. We almost lost her a number of times. My wife had what is called a subchorionic hematoma which basically amounted to some scary horror flick stuff (think blood) of which I’ll spare you any further details. We blubbered in bed, lamenting how badly we had wanted this kid to work out, and wept at the realization that we would need to try again.
We went to the doctor and explained what had happened. And with an all-too-knowing face, our doctor said, “Well, let’s see what’s going on.”
Enter giant wand with condom attached, and what would you know—a heartbeat. A normal-sized baby. What the fudge?
Doctor: Well, I don’t know what to say. The baby looks fine. Here’s the <doctor jargon diagnosis blah blah blah> and it looks like everything is going to be ok.
We went and bought lotto tickets.
We had just settled into the thought that everything just might work out. And then another “what the shit” fright fest occured. “Fuck you world!” I thought to myself. Next day, we went to the doctor again. And again, with the embarrassingly large dick-shaped vagina-wand we saw the heartbeat.
Fast forward 7 months, which amounts to 41 weeks (1 week overdue) and my mom, rest her soul, was in the about-to-die part of the hospital, and our little survivor refused to join the world. We still intended to do the home-birth thing—but that’s hard to do without labor. My wife actually drank castor oil to get it going. Remember the scene in “Stand by Me” when “Lard-Ass” gets his revenge by eating raw eggs, castor oil and a bunch of blueberry pies and barfs all over everyone? Well, that was the same tactic we deployed, except my wife was trying to barf a child out of her vagina. It didn’t work. So we wound up at a hospital a week later, and a doctor with incredibly large fingers and ever-so-soft hands delivered our baby—Kaya.
And here we are 10 months later, in Hawaii with a little kiddo that is so fucking cute I’m in danger of actually seasoning her with some Lawry’s and eating her. She looks exactly like her sister did, which is funny, because everyone said Lucy looked just like me (or at least a beautiful girl version of me), and everyone says Kaya looks exactly like Lucy, but no one says Kaya looks like me. Don’t quite know what to make of that.
I do know she is happy. Really happy. She smiles full-time. She passes my lone litmus test for friendship—in order for me to like you, you have to like me. She rarely cries, and—I swear to God—when she does, all I need to do is ask her to stop, and she stops. She sleeps a lot. She crawls like a toy doll, which is fucking cute, too. She’s got some jack-o’-lantern teeth popping out, and her favorite food is avocado. (I shit you not. And when she’s done eating, she rubs the remaining avocado in her hair for later.) Basically, she’s got the attitude of, “I’m just happy to be here.” which makes sense.
My mom got to meet her, kind of. She had some serious brain damage from the cancer by the time she passed, but she held Kaya—and smiled. She got to show her off a little bit too. We had lots of visitors in those final days, and my mom reserved a little piece of her functioning brain to tell people about what a cute little granddaughter she had, named … “Lucy”
Me: Mom, it’s Kaya.
I like to think that my mom keeps an eye on us. Not when I’m acting a fool, or masturbating, but lots of other times. My daughter’s smile reminds me of her humor and happiness. My kid’s early wakeup call after a night of drinking assures me that my mom is present in spirit—obnoxious, persistent spirit.
My mom died on New Year’s Eve. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I think it’s probably because of my amazing family—my wife and kids, my dad (who certainly deserves a blog or two), my siblings, cousins, friends and even this dog I got that smells like butthole but makes me happy. All of these people remind me of what makes life so wonderful. This wonder reminds me of my mom, and because of it, she never feels too far away.
Oh yeah—and Kaya spoke her first word. We were looking at this Koi pond, and she pointed at the fish and said “Jork.” It was very intentional—not babble. “Jork” was her first word. (As great as she is, she’s still kind of dumb.)
Give her time. After all, she is half mine.