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WORTH REPEATING: Paternity Test

 

STEVE VOLK: I could tell you about the surreal sleeplessness. We are lucky, right now, to get two-and-a-half hours of sleep in any 24-hour cycle. If that rest came in one restorative stretch, we might be doing all right. But for the most part we are grabbing sleep in 30- and 45-minute increments throughout the day. As a result, our emotions are close to the surface. I’ve burst into tears in front of pretty much all my co-workers, several cab drivers and a couple of cashiers by now, among other intimates. And being reduced like this, so quickly, has made Lisa and I hugely grateful for any bit of help we get. [...] We’ve cried a couple of times now simply because numerous friends of ours had babies, and we did so miserably little, if anything, to help. We didn’t get it then. We do now. This is terrifically hard. And at this point, I better recite the mantra new parents have to repeat for fear of being admonished: You know, millions of people have had children. You’re not the first … So, let me say that, yes, I do understand: Everyone who has children goes through this. But in this case, it’s the commonality of the experience that makes it so remarkable: This is how we enter the world—squawling and crying and subjecting our parents to the most beautiful form of torture, filling them up with love and a cruel sleep deprivation at the same time. This is how our species survives. By the millions and billions, the laziest among us—and yes, I’m looking in the mirror—have found energy as parents, even when there was no energy left to find. And I’m just getting started. MORE

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