Blogbaby episode one: Gene Kim

[Quite a bit has changed since Linette and I had Clementine seven and a half years ago. For one, people no longer just drop by with food. Now, friends and neighbors band together and coordinate their activities through sites like Mealbaby, so that you aren’t confronted with the nightmare of three lasagnas showing up on your porch the same night. It’s an incredibly simple idea, and a brilliant use of the internet. (I’d encourage you all to have unprotected sex tonight so that you might have an opportunity to check it out.) Anyway, Mealbaby got me thinking that maybe I could leverage the internet and tap into this same baby-loving community spirit in order to create content for my blog as I try against all odds to keep this new baby of ours alive and in reasonably clean diapers. So, I sent word out to a few friends that I’d like for them, in my online absence, to write for this site. Following is the first response. It comes from my friend Gene Kim, who decided to take the opportunity to address Arlo directly.]

Dear Arlo:

Welcome to the world! You are so very lucky to have an awesome mom, dad and big sister – and they are equally lucky and happy to have you.

You will soon come to learn (and then disagree) that your farther is a very smart man, your sister knows everything and your mom’s beauty is only matched by her talents. You are a brand new person and require lots of love and care. As your father is no good at multi-tasking, he cannot raise you and write a blog at the same time. In an effort to help him out, here is an entry in celebration of your arrival:

“A Tree Grows in Ypsi”

Dig something. Get dirty. Get wet. Make a mess. Clean up. Repeat.

That’s it, Arlo. Do these things and you will learn all there is to learn in life and be healthy, wealthy and wise! The richness of your life is not in a bank account, it is in the life around you.

As your eyes begin to focus and your fingers bow to your commands, you will touch a screen. In that screen, you will have access to an immense digital universe. Digital is fun, it even delivered the news of your arrival – but it is not life.

My wish for you and your peers is to sink your hands into mud, plant something green and watch it grow. Maybe it lives, maybe it blooms, maybe it comes back the next year – so much uncertainty and risk, that’s life.

Plant something, give it care and attention – and watch it change. For me, gardening is about change management and dealing with failure. Change happens every second of the day as the sun rolls across the sky, and each failure in the garden teaches me something new.

There is so much to love and explore in this world, and some of it is waiting for you in your very own backyard.

Plant something, then plant something again. Much will die, but with patience and perseverance, the numbers will start to work in your favor – just keep planting.

The world awaits you, I know it’s scary being outside of your mama’s tummy – but trust me, the world outside is beautiful, and I know you’re just the kind of kid who will help to keep it that way.


Speaking of planting, we have a placenta to get into the ground before everything outside freezes. Stay tuned for photos.

And, in case I’ve never mentioned it, I have pretty terrific friends.

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  1. Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been trying to get your address for the very purpose of bringing food. Barring that, I am going to wander the streets of Ypsi yelling, “MARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRK!!!!!” because I am sure that will be successful.

  2. dragon
    Posted December 5, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Annie Wilkes: Anything else I can get for you while I am in town? How about a tiny tape recorder, or how about a homemade pair of writing slippers?
    Paul Sheldon: No, just the paper would be fine.
    Annie Wilkes: Are you sure? Because if you want I can bring back the whole store for you!
    Paul Sheldon: Annie, what’s the matter?
    Annie Wilkes: WHAT’S THE MATTER? I will tell you “what’s the matter!” I go out of my way for you! I do everything to try and make you happy. I feed you, I clean you, I dress you, and what thanks do I get? “Oh, you bought the wrong paper, Annie, I can’t write on this paper, Annie!” Well, I’ll get your stupid paper but you just better start showing me a little appreciation around here, Mr. MAN

  3. anonymous
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Dragon, that was funny. I didn’t get it at first, but that was funny. And I love the advice, Gene. Good job.

  4. ChelseaL
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    So, now, what’s this about planting a placenta? I’m guessing you have a specific reason…

  5. Andre
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    What, you never heard of a placenta tree?

  6. Gene
    Posted December 6, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    actually, i have a small fir we can plant on top.
    mark – let’s do it this weekend, i’ll come by and dig the hole, god forbid you throw your back out at this time – how could you possibly care for arlo while lying (and blogging) from the floor?
    unless you have some shindig or ritual around the placenta, makes no sense to have it just taking up valuable freezer space. sat or sun, name the time, i got it covered (tools, dirt, mulch, teeny 10″ tall douglas fir).

  7. Posted December 7, 2011 at 12:45 am | Permalink

    No one can know where I live, Patti. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it has to be.

    As for offerings, I’ve just been asking that people leave them on the doorstep of Smarty Pantz.

  8. Posted December 7, 2011 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    I planted a flowering cherry tree earlier this spring, Gene, and I was thinking about putting the placenta beneath it. If you’d like to join me, I’d be happy to have you drop by. Unfortunately, however, I can’t tell you were I live, which may complicate things.

  9. Posted December 7, 2011 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    And, Chelsea, some people actually eat the placenta. Be thankful that we’re just planting ours.

    (I was actually going to use the placenta for a Krampus mask, but I chickened out.)

  10. b
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    what lovely advice gene (not just for arlo, but a good reminder for all)…..
    a placenta mask, mark? wouldn’t it be smelly by late evening without proper refrigeration?

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