Hi, good to meet you, fellow parent. How do you know the birthday boy? Oh, you have a one-year-old son as well? So do we. This is our son, his name is [An experience that is the culmination of all light and sound that has ever existed and will ever exist]. What is your son’s name? Shawn? That’s fun. Hi Shawn! Cool truck!
Oh, I’m sorry, did your eardrums blow out? Yes, that does happen sometimes. We fell in love with the name while on a trip to San Sebastían. Oh, you’ve also been? Then we thought of it while we were in a small pueblo just outside of Oaxaca, Mexico, which has an “lxl” in the name and thus, is impossible for you (but not me) to say. Have you also been there, you world traveler, you? No? Too bad. You should go! We were talking to a local — his name was [The most solemn nod of one’s head, as if accepting that death is both inevitable and beautiful, in its own way]. You should meet him — he’d love your son, I’m sorry, what was his name again? Don’t tell me, don’t tell me, was it [Leaking bag of polenta that you squeeze at Trader Joe’s just for fun but would never buy]? Oh right, it’s “Shawn,” sorry. I remember now.
We do speak Spanish, but in fact, in this pueblo they actually speak a language called [A soft bristling of summer wind through saltwater reeds]. I speak a little, my wife speaks it fluently — hey, honey, remember our tour guide [The experience of waking while in a dream, only to realize you’re still dreaming]? Wasn’t he hilarious? Yes! Be right there! I’m talking to Shawn, with his son — I’m sorry, I forgot again — was it “Cardboard Box”?
Shoot, let me stop you, you’re pronouncing our son’s name wrong — and please don’t touch his hands — his name is [An experience that is the culmination of all light and sound that has ever existed and will ever exist]. There is a glottal element to it which you may be struggling with. We do call him “The Essence” for short, but we’d appreciate if you did not.
It has been difficult raising him multiracial. My wife is a quarter French and three quarters Indigenous (to Europe), and I am half-British and half half-and-half, so you know, we just take it day by day and if [An experience that is the culmination of all light and sound that has ever existed and will ever exist] has any questions about where he’s from, we will answer it then.
Anyway, great to meet you. When we finally leave these goddamn baby parties we just fall on the couch, exhausted, and throw on Moana like everyone else.