Okay, wow. A whole summer, an endless expanse away froBam. Cuteness.m home and not one single blog entry. And thus six months just disappear into the void.

You’re six weeks old and you can hold your head up and kick yr legs, but that about covers it. The whole world must seem like some surreal daydream. When you sleep, are you able to move at will and walk, to understand the things we say, or is it all as incomprehensible as it is in waking?

David Foster Wallace (DFW here and in the future) somewhere wrote something about solipsism and infancy, and I guess it must kind of feel that way, like one weird psychedelic experience, where you’re just too wacked out to understand what the hell is going on, or even to move or react very much to anything anyone does. And since the model of other you build in your brain is probably constrained by the model of self, my guess is that it doesn’t even occur to you that the random babbling we’re doing has any more informational content than your own coos and wails.

Maybe it’s like when I try to play guitar, and I kind of can, and then I hear other people play guitar, who really can, and then I can kind of appreciate it as a more refined and intentional version of what I’m trying to do. Am I close? You’ll never tell.

Still, it’s a crazy thing to try to imagine. This morning when you woke up, you were thrashing and fussing and I couldn’t help wondering–was it monsters? A dream in which one of us was ignoring you crying? Or were you trying to eat and failing in your dream? What does internal monologue say, and how? Is that why no one remembers infancy? No words to anchor it? Does that mean that all animals without speech live somewhat like goldfish, with vague sensations and a sense of uncategorizable previous experience?

I hope you have better eyesight than I do. I can’t wait until you ask a lot of annoying questions so I can humor every last one of them. Wondering is worthwhile.

Your birth was a heck of a thing. I was there and it went swimmingly and you were awesome and your mom was a force of nature, resilient and resolute. You should probably pay attention to her — there are few better role models that I’ve ever had the honor to know.

And I’m sure this’ll come up a lot, because it has already, but you are one lucky kid. The neverending flow of visitors and gifts and well-wishes is a testament to the fact that you are well-loved. Considering that all you can even do so far is eat and poop and belch and smile and cry loudly, it’s probably unconditional love.

The house is a mess. Sorry about that. We’ll clean it up before you’re mobile I promise.

There’s an ironic process going on, as well, or maybe an economic process. Your incredible cuteness has made the opportunity cost of doing other than stare at you rise drastically. I find myself having to tear myself away to work on the old Ph.D. Which is not to say that there’s any risk involved, so far. I’ve built up a pretty nice nest egg of econ cred, and my schedule got a lot more flexible now that coursework is almost done. Nonetheless — it’s in your best interests in a big way if I find myself employable come 2.5 years down the line. For which purpose I’ll need to start, and subsequently finish, this dissertation thingie. To which end I’ll need to tear myself away and simply work.

It’s not like 60-hour weeks were in the question to begin with, but with your arrival, they are firmly out of it. Hell, a 40-hour week leaves what, 24*7=140+28=168-40=128-(8*7)=128-56=72 hours to spend at home. If you count getting ready for work and transit time, that takes out another 1.5 hr/day, which brings us down to 65. Okay, that’s still 9+ hours a day in your presence, but still. Not enough, right? Glad you agree with me. Besides, it’s more like 32 hours on the weekend, and that only leaves like 6.6 hrs/day during the week. That’s practically no time at all.

The dissertation will get done. I’ll do my best to teach you how to live a subgame perfect life. It’s not an uncomplicated endeavor. A lot of people have a lot of love, a lot of good intentions, and a lot of different and contradictory advice on how to go about the whole shebang. With certainty, I am wrong about an infinite number of things. Nonetheless, there’s stuff I’ve figured out that you should probably know, and ways to figure out which ways you prefer to live and which advice to take.

In the meantime, I want you to know that life is awesome. It’s a good prior to have. If it doesn’t seem like life is awesome, there’s usually another explanation. “Sometimes people suck” is a popular one. The solution there is to be understanding and forgiving and simply to try to be good.

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