Uppermost House: Scoot over, sister

PRECIOUS MOMENT — BN columnist Peter Lewis’ son, Jeremiah, with his new arrival, Alexandria (Lexie).

PRECIOUS MOMENT — BN columnist Peter Lewis’ son, Jeremiah, with his new arrival, Alexandria (Lexie).

By S. Peter Lewis

BN Columnist

Making sense of life is sometimes a matter of keeping an eye on perspective.

The full moon looming up over the trees beyond our meadow looks huge, but if I stretch my arm out and close one eye I can easily cover its bright orange orb with my thumb. As I write this, my wife is sitting a few feet away from me in a chair watching something on Netflix, and if I stretch my arm out and close one eye I can only cover half her head with my thumb.

These things are both true, yet no one would argue that my wife’s head is twice as big as the moon. The reality is that my wife’s head is considerably smaller than the moon, but it’s also a lot closer to me. I like this arrangement because I like my wife much more than I like the moon. I could live without the moon. (My thumb is always the same size, by the way, which is handy because in any kind of experimentation like this there needs to be a constant.)

Sometimes, the reality of perspective can leap out at you with frightening speed, knocking you mentally off balance the same way that suddenly finding a kangaroo in your linen closet might.

A little over a week ago, our newest granddaughter, Alexandria (Lexie) came into the world after hours of the usual toil on the part of my brave daughter-in-law, Jen, who, when told by the nurse, “If you feel pain, just let us know and we’ll give you an epidural,” responded by saying, “I feel pain,” and was hence quickly numbed from the waist down. One of the first things Jen said to me when we came for a visit the next day was, “Oh my gosh I love epidurals!”

Lexie came into the light a bit on the small side, and I was briefly afraid that Jen’s brother, a lobsterman, might put the calipers to her, shake his head, and tell us we needed to toss her back in. She turned out legal, however, so we’re going to keep her.

Playing the supporting role in this little fecunditatic drama was Lexie’s suddenly-the-big sister, Sophie, who has been the apple of all of our eyes for the last two years. Almost immediately upon Lexie’s arrival, it dawned on each of us, in turn and in exactly the same way, that Sophie had suddenly changed. Looking at Sophie and then at Lexie and then back at Sophie again, each of us exclaimed some variation of “jeepers, Sophie is enormous!”

Sophie hadn’t instantly gotten bigger, of course; it’s just that having her and her brand new sister both out in the open at the same time (and for the first time), made the comparison inevitable. Sophie had been getting bigger all along, albeit slowly, but we just hadn’t noticed. Like I never noticed that my wife’s head was so much smaller than the moon until I started writing this column and needed an analogy.

As her big sister did, Lexie quickly put on eight ounces, so she is getting bigger before our eyes and the race to adulthood is on. Scoot over Sophie, and give your sister a little room!

Please follow and like us: