Monthly Archives: August 2009

No one puts baby in the corner

There are rituals and observations that every new parent must endure and observe. Certain tasks that must be performed in just the right way, so as to avoid ruining the life of the child and isolating and offending all of your closest family. Typically these are simple things, like, feeding your new infant and not leaving it on the roof of the car as you pull out of the driveway. Occaisionally they are dangerous things, like, fighting off a pack of hungry wolves with a burning table leg while fleeing Siberia during the October revolution, or registering your child with a desirable day care service.

Most often though, these things that we must do are easy, and even fun. Tasks like video taping the kid’s first steps, taking a nap with him laying on your chest, or teaching him how to design a defensive position with overlapping fields of fire that intersect predicted enemy approach angles and has adequate overhead cover to mitigate damage from incoming mortar fire, are all rewarding and enjoyable.

A limited few of these obligations are rife with potential obstacles and unforeseen complications, and must be performed regardless of need, lest you ostracize your closest friends and family. Such is the baby shower.

Don’t scoff. I can hear you scoffing! Baby showers are minefields of potential disaster with far reaching consequences. Did you forget to invite a rich Aunt? Does the cake include ingredients that will send any attendees into anaphylactic shock? Will the mother to be freak out about colors of the guest book? Did the invitations include the address? Will anyone guess the circumference of the mother’s belly? Did we buy enough beer?

Cameron, post cake cutting

Despite all the risk, we elected to go ahead with the baby shower. Lot’s of people showed up, including my sister who flew in from Texas. Close to 50 people (including toddlers and infants) sat around eating, talking, drinking and giving us gifts. The number of attendees seemed to surprise Cameron who evidently believes we are social pariahs living on a secluded island in the Baltic Sea, with no friends or contact with civilized company. It did not surprise me, because I know we aren’t lepers; and the invitations said we’d be serving food. People are suckers for free food.

The cake

If you attended, thank you. Your generosity and friendship are appreciated. It’s nice to have such good friends. If you didn’t attend, man you missed out. I cooked Kahlua Pork. My grind pretty ono for haole. There were also giraffe cookies, a Jedi cake, and plenty of beer. Click through for the rest of the pictures.

Me and Cameron

The Mayan Riviera

The second week of July found Cameron and I waiting in line at immigrations and customs in Cancun Mexico. Cameron, nearly 27 weeks pregnant had spent some time lecturing about the inadequate restroom facilities near the immigration facilities of the airport. Her concerns were justified as there appeared to be only one set of restrooms and it took us nearly 2  hours to clear customs.

Cameron laughs while waiting.

Our friends Kat and Jason were getting married on a Yucatan beach in three days. We were staying at an all inclusive resort on the white sands of the Mayan Riviera. I had been promised six days and nights of open bar. My mind was elsewhere.

Mayan ruins at Xcaret

We didn’t make it to our hotel room until nearly nine that evening. There were several long lines, some idle waiting, and a shuttle ride that seemed like it would never end. The van sped south out of Cancun, slowing to a crawl for the frequent and aggressive speed bumps and traffic stops. To our left were the palatial entrances of numerous resorts catering to the wealthy tourists. These high security gate areas were dominated by picturesque fountains and pleasing architecture designed to catch the eye and promising luxury all while being shrouded in foliage significant enough to shelter those inside from the right side of the road.

Beach huts at the beach at Xcaret.

The right side of the road was miles and miles of jungle, broken by frequent glimpses of abject poverty. Patrolled by numerous stray dogs, these pockets of rural Mexican life were dusty and depressing in contrast to the splendor on the other side of the street. Part of me was repulsed by the exploitation of this country and its people by the resort industry, and by the people, like me, who would indulge in it. The other part of me just wanted to lay in a hammock and get drunk before lunch.

I don't have anything clever to say about this.

I’d like to talk about the beauty and magnificence of Quintana Roo, the Mexican state that we were in, and the rugged nobility of the rural lifestyle enjoyed by it’s inhabitants. The startling natural beauty of Mexico. The impressive legacy of the cultural heritage left behind by the Mayans. I can’t though. I only left the resort a single time the entire week, and that was to visit Xcaret, an eco park largely populated with other tourists. The remainder of the time I spent swinging in a hammock or floating in the ocean.

This was harder to take than it looks.

We had a great time. It was a lovely wedding. The resort was beautiful. The food was good. The drinks were free. I think I’d like to go back sometime. I’d like to think that if we did, we could spend some time actually exploring the country. On the other hand, laying in a hammock that swings to an ocean breeze is pretty compelling.

On choosing a name

Several years ago, while helping her mother and aunt take care of her Grandmother’s personal items, Cameron became interested in collecting old photos and putting together a family tree. This proved to be an ongoing project that has continued to be  rewarding, providing her with the names and faces of many past relatives. Cameron’s grandmother, Francis Maxine Logan, helped raise her during Cameron’s formative years. Maxine’s influence is unmistakable and has had a significant impact on the type of woman Cameron grew to be. Before her Grandmother passed away in December 2007, Cameron made the decision to honor her grandmother’s place and influence in her life by naming any future son after her grandmother’s maiden name. Logan was a name that appealed to Cameron on a variety of levels from simple aesthetic to a desire to venerate her grandmother’s memory and influence. This is a decision not entered into lightly and follows, quite literally, months of discussion, vetting and research.

Logan Family

Lucille, Helen, Sis, Buck, Paul, Jack, Maxine. Taken in their home town of Noel, Missouri

Since a first name was selected that would link the new baby to Cameron’s side of the family, it was decided that a middle name should be selected similarly from Ed’s side of the family. Carrie Olive Garrett was a college educated women from Boone, Iowa and Ed’s great-grandmother. It was unusual for women of the period to have such a high degree of formal education and Carrie prized scholarship, spending time with Ed’s mother, Deborah, teaching her the alphabet and how to read. It is wonderful to honor her and her efforts by linking our son to his heritage with the use of her family’s name.

Cameron with her Grandparents

Cameron, Grandma Maxine, and Grandpa John

We feel that creating a name that is a combination of surnames from both sides of our families will provide our son with a meaningful connection with our past generations. Hopefully, he will someday ask us more about our family history and we will be able to tell him how special his name is to our family. As an aside, you may find it interesting to note that “Cameron” has a Scotch Gaelic origin like “Logan” and “Edward” has an English origin like “Garrett”.We find it interesting,  but we’re huge nerds about names and word origins.

The boy’s name will be Logan Garrett Hawkins.

Logan

From a surname which was originally derived from a Scottish place name meaning “little hollow” in Scottish Gaelic.

Garrett

From an English surname that is derived from the given name Gerald or Garard, both containing the Germanic “gar” element, meaning “spear”.