The Whole History of Humans

A few weeks ago, my friend had a baby boy.

Today, I took out markers and nice paper from under the bed and sat down at the kitchen table to write the new guy a welcome note. Some Things I Want You to Know, I called it in my mind.

“I intended to write this the day you joined the world,” I started, “but I didn’t. Sometimes we don’t do what we intend. Let’s forgive ourselves. Once, someone told me that as long as we get another inhale, we get another chance.”

Then I told him that in the whole history of humans there was only one him. And what an awesome privilege it was to be the one and only him.

This new guy and I lived a $1,000 plane trip apart. Nearly opposite ends of the planet. Who knows when we’d meet.

“We don’t know each other yet,” I wrote. “But I’ve got 31 years on you. There’re things I know that you don’t. But there’re things you know that I don’t. Don’t forget how much you know, how much you have in you.”

Then I remembered, “And how much you can contribute. No matter how small your hands are, you can contribute. Please do.

Already, I was running out of space on the paper.

I wanted to tell him that you’ll have more questions than answers and that’s a good thing, and anything ordinary becomes extraordinary when we pay attention to it, and life can break your heart, but, as somebody said, may it break so widely that the whole world can fall in.

But there wasn’t enough space. So, I told the new guy he was loved from this side of the planet.

I dropped the letter in the mailbox around the corner. And immediately thought of all these things to add: show up, everyone feels like an outsider, register to vote in 2034.

There are so many things I want you to know, new guy! I thought as I walked home from the mailbox. But what I need you to know, new guy, what I need anyone to know, is that it is and it will always be an amazing thing that you’re here in the whole history of humans.

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