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Friendship with a baby interview

The following is a transcript of a live interview I recently had with the Little Dude in My Head on the show “Stumbling Around the Neighborhood in the Obscenely Wee Dark Hours of the Morning Carrying a Wakeful Baby That’s Kept His Mama Up All Night.”

Little Dude in My Head: “Goooooood morning!!!!! We have on the show today author and father, Aaron Gruben. Thanks for being on the show today, Mr. Gruben.”

AG: “Hmm? Oh… Yeah. Yawn!”

LDIMH: “So tell me, why are you up before the sun today? I mean, the word is you stayed up with Joy partying late last night because the kids all fell asleep only half an hour after their bedtime. I also heard you’re not as much of a morning person as that kid on your shoulder apparently is.”

AG: “Er… (yawn!) Yeah… Um…. He was up nursing off and on all night and Joy needs some rest.”

LDIMH: “And you like this Joy, evidently?”

AG: “I love her.”

LDIMH: “And you like this kid Calvin, evidently?”

AG: “Er… Um… Well…”

LDIMH: “I mean you could have just left him to scream, instead of taking him out to see the sun that’s coming up in just a couple of hours, right?”

AG: “Well, yeah… He’d have woken everyone else up.”

LDIMH: “And you haven’t left him on any of these doorsteps in a basket yet, I notice.”

AG: “Hm…. Hadn’t thought about…”

LDIMH: “And you’ve put up with him breaking your computer, shrieking like a demented banshee in your ear for minutes at a time, peeing all over stuff, and making you leave restaurants… And you’ve given up going out to movies much at all, and mountain biking, going to the bathroom by yourself, and having more than fifteen minutes uninterrupted time to write, and sleeping in, and…”

AG: “Ok, ok! I love him too. (But in a much different way, of course.)”

Calvin: “Da!”

AG: “Heh. Thanks for the hug little guy.”

LDIMH: “So that’s really why you put up with the hosts of little inconveniences this baby causes and give up so many comforts you had before kids came, and get up for early morning walks, right?”

AG: “Yeah (yawn!) I guess it is. I learn a lot from you, Little Dude in My head.”

LDIMH: “I’m always telling people that, but they seldom listen. So do you think the tradeoff is worth it?”

AG (looking into the cheerful, very wakeful blue eyes of my little baby boy): “Yeah… Yeah, I do. All those other things are so much less important. I’ll probably forget them…uh, yaaaawn…in ten years, and wouldn’t regret missing out on them when I die. But raising these kids is lasting, and eternal work.”

LDIMH: “World-changing work, right?”

AG: “Right.”

LDIMH: “History-shaping work, right?”

AG: “Right.”

LDIMH: “Soul-building work, right?”

AG: “Ri… Come again?”

LDIMH: “It’s soul-building work. God makes a new living soul out of you and Joy every time you have a baby, and then gives you the job of evangelizing that soul to help bring him to Christ.”

AG: “Oh… Yeah… That’s a big deal.”

LDIMH: “Hehe. Kind of terrifies you, doesn’t it?”

AG: “Definitely. You’re very perceptive, Little Dude.”

LDIMH: “So I’ve been told.”

AG: “I guess that’s part of what makes my life so much more of an adventure now than it used to be. The stakes are higher.”

Calvin (yanking my beard to make me scream like an idiot in the chill morning mist): “Bler!”

AG: “Ahhh! Ouch!”

LDIMH: “Haha! You two are better than three stooges! So you love Calvin because he’s important. Any other reasons?”

AG (rubbing sore chin and looking at the laughing baby in thought): “Well, yeah. I love him because God told me to. It’s the job He’s given me.”

LDIMH: “The job to show a father’s love like He shows a Father’s love, huh?”

AG: “Yes.”

LDIMH: “And that’s why you love this kid then?”

AG: “Well, yeah. That and I love him just for himself. I mean, he’s a great little guy, really.”

LDIMH: “Would you say you are friends?”

Calvin (pointing to the rosy, neonatal sunrise): “Ooh! Ba!”

AG: “Yes. I suppose I would… I actually like him.”

LDIMH: “Weird.”

AG: “Come again?”

LDIMH: “I said, weird. I mean, the kid can’t even talk, how can you be friends with him?”

AG: “Well he can communicate in other ways, you know.”

LDIMH (shrugging his metaphorical shoulders): “Sure. Like a dog can. And dogs are man’s best friend.”

AG: “Yes… but he also has a living, eternal soul. And we share the commonality of being human.”

LDIMH: “You’re friends because you have something in common?”

AG: “Yeah, I guess so. We are both human beings, so we both have to same built-in purpose of ‘glorifying God and enjoying Him forever.’”

LDIMH: “And you hope to someday share the same Lord and the same work for His Kingdom?”

AG: “Yes indeed.”

AG: “And we both have the same privilege of discovering the wonders around us as we grow. We’re both men…er…males. We’re in the same family…”

LDIMH: “You’re in this together, so you’d better get along, eh?”

AG: “Indeed. And we both like sunrises and eggnog… “

Calvin (grabbing at a passing branch and giggling at the tickle of the leaves): “Hehe! Hehehe!”

AG: “Heh! And we often laugh about the same things.”

LDIMH: “Are you saying you like to hang out with this tiny person?”

AG: “Yeah, I guess I do. He makes me laugh. He’s sort of fun.”

LDIMH: “That’s good. Laughing is good for you. He’s enriching your life, sounds like.”

AG: “He is. He also makes me remember what it’s like to be young… to think like a baby and feel the wonder a child feels at things like sunrises. Everything’s new to him and exciting and beautiful. I tend to get jaded about ‘ordinary’ things as I get used to them with age, and forget just how extraordinary they are.”

LDIMH: “Sounds like you’re waking up to some revelations this morning.”

AG: “I am. And I have to reluctantly admit it’s more than the coffee’s doing.”

LDIMH: “Haha! Yes. But what an extraordinary thing in itself: friendship with a baby sounds so unlikely.”

AG: “You’re right. Life is full of unlikely things. That makes it wonderful.”

LDIMH: “I agree. Well, it looks like your little buddy is asleep now, and you get to carry his deadweight four blocks back to the house…”

AG: “He ain’t heavy, he’s my son…”

LDIMH: “…And then stay awake with the other three kiddos. So I’ll leave you to do it. Thanks for being on the show again today!”

AG: “Er… thank you, Little Dude in My Head. Until next time, then…”

Published inMusings

One Comment

  1. Marcia Marcia

    😄. Loved it!

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