Welcome Baby Alexandra
January 10, 2009
Some time ago I read the book “All the Names” by Jose Saramago. The central character works in the “Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages” as a clerk. Working with a public he never sees, he knows only knows up to 3 things about the people whose index cards he files day in and day out. The date of their birth, the date of their death and the date of their marriage. He finds great satisfaction in starting new files; they are clean, with no bent corners, no erroneous stains or pencil marks, they contain just a name and a single date. Eventually curiosity gets the best of the man and he is overtaken with the desire to discover more about a woman whose card comes across his desk. He ends up going on a quest to fill in her life during the years he doesn’t write down.
Today my group of college friends expanded by one. My dear friend B and her husband had a healthy baby girl, Alexandra, known to us in the inner circle as Axle (known to the outside world as Alex). As of right now all baby Axle has is a name and a birth date. She has experienced little, met only a miniscule fraction of the people she will meet in her lifetime, seen the tiniest fragment of life possible. She has no bent corners, no marks or burdens. Her file has just begun.
I feel unbelievably lucky to get to watch her fill her life with experiences. If the whole Axle moniker sticks, she’s certain to have many.