The Foreignness of a Newborn Babe

I have seen hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of newborn Holstein calves over the last 3 and a half years.

Back in veterinary school, I saw a black calf with white spots, or vice versa. Now I see so much more in a calf.

I see chest and hip shape, muzzle curve, ear angles, neck length, elbow rotation, fetlock breakover, craniolateral position of the eyes and more. I am not even trying to look at those things, I just see them now. It fascinates me because it was happening over time without my full knowledge.

There is some part of my brain that collects, stores, and compares those measurements and observations, without me even aware of it, and it is working all the time. It’s a process that builds, and even as it conitinually ran in the background of my brain, I never really noticed it until my daughter was born.

Katarina taking her first of many naps

In that moment that I saw her present to the world, I realized, like Jon Snow, I knew nothing. It was humbling to see this little life and not know anything about how a brand new human looks. It was a token moment, feeling like the moment the window pane trembles, and the walls shudder, under the lashing rain and burgeoning gusts of a thunderstorm. In that instance, you realize just how much the window and walls mean to your survival.

Seeing her for the first time told me very clearly that my life had crossed some threshold and would never be the same.

Our ship had found itself in new waters.

Simple Dinner

Certain events, now long past, remain as highlights in my memories. Shining points in the river of thoughts, feelings, and sensory experiences that flows over many years. One evening in 2010 comes to mind. As I’ve mentioned before, I worked as a wrangler for two seasons at a resort in southeast Utah.

Tamara was from Switzerland, Rogelio from Mexico and they had a beautiful baby girl named Samira. Her name would work in both German and Spanish and was fitting for such a beautiful little girl. Tamara and Rogelio invited a couple of us wranglers over to their home for supper. They lived in a log cabin not too far from the resort grounds. I don’t remember what we ate that night, but I felt like I stepped back in time and looked through someone else’s eyes that night. I felt like I went into the twilight zone.

In a simple log cabin around a wood table we shared a simple dinner. Samira peacefully rested nearby in a rocker, and I felt much love all around. It sticks with me because it was so antithetical to the consumerism cultured we are engrossed in.

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
Proverbs 15:17 ESV

This is absolutely true. Ten times out of ten I would choose the chance to spend a cheap dinner of love with family and friends rather than a fancy restaurant with strife and bitterness.

Just Like Momma

I am continually amazed at how much Katarina wants to be like her mother.

I heard a neurologist say, on an interview, that the three ways children learn from their parents are; example, example, and example.

Many times I have seen Katarina enthralled by what her momma is doing, and this is just another example. Katarina watches every move Tiffany makes, and is very excited to imitate her mother.

It is sobering how much the little human is watching and learning.