I head back to work tomorrow, and I am collecting myself – and some thoughts. I've had two wonderful, trying, quiet, raucous, soothing and brain-breaking weeks at home with Kerry and my daughter Scout. My daughter Scout. Mine. Ours.
Scout arrived to the world with swiftness and surprise, on February 16 at 9:56 p.m. (only six hours previous we were going about a very normal Saturday, checking thrift stores for baby goods and mulling our choices of boys' names), born so quick the doctor-on-call raced up the stairwell, rather than risk the elevator, to arrive in time to collect her.
Her name: Scout Sparrow. Scout, after the inimitable and pugnacious protagonist Jean-Louise "Scout" Finch from Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird (and not, as the hospital night nurse wondered, Demi Moore's daughter). A literary reference, for Kerry, and a sharp, strong name for a girl we wish nothing more than to grow up and model after young Jean-Louise. Smart, curious, and brave.
Sparrow, my contribution – put a bird on it. The name selected chiefly for the very aesthetics of the word itself, but also after the large family of songbirds of the family Emberizidae – small, sweet-singing, but not-too-showy, denizens of almost every habitat in the world. (Deviating from birding purists, I also consider the common house sparrow who, while a pest species and not a true sparrow, is one of few species who cheerfully throw their sound into even the deepest urban landscape. And also smart, curious and brave.)
Scout, so far, has blue eyes. This may change, though there is a healthy streak of blue running through the eyes of both our families. She was born 19 inches long and six pounds, 11 ounces (3,055 grams), and following discharge from the hospital regained her birth weight with a quickness. In her two weeks she has found her lungs like a boss, showcases the startle reflex of an alley-cat, and developed the ability to stare inquisitively – and directly through me – as we lay side-by-side on the bed during morning bouts of playtime.
I hum a lot to her, since I don't know the lyrics of many songs. I do sing though, but startled myself today realizing the songs I sing are quite dark. The Beatles' Maxwell's Silver Hammer (triple murder) and Rocky Raccoon (gun violence), Josh Ritter's Folk Bloodbath (murder) and David Bowie's Space Oddity (floating in a tin can). I'll need to keep tabs on that. The other day we watched Raising Arizona together – her first movie. Trying hard to give to her an appreciation of the finer things in life.
Scout is a