Friday night and early Saturday morning, my wife had some low back pain, and she figured that our baby was on its way. She was right. At 7:00 AM on Saturday we called her sister to come over and look after our girls, and headed to the Grey Nuns. We arrived there at about 7:40 AM and Aimie requested an epidural – contractions were about 5-6 minutes apart. The epidural was set, and Aimie fell asleep – which allowed me to head out for bacon and eggs, my tradition on the mornings of the births of my children. When I got back, we chatted for a bit and at about 10:58 AM, Aimie mentioned that she was feeling some pressure and wanted to push – coincidentally the OB was just walking by, and the nurse asked him to check Aimie to see where things were at. He had a look and goosed her and declared that it was definitely time to push. Aimie pushed three times and our little guy was there. Andon Noah Wilhelm joined our family at 11:04 AM on December 11, 2010.
Andon weighed 7 lb exactly and is 20-1/2″ long.
As some of you might remember, he was due on Christmas Eve. That was his due date all along, and it didn’t budge even with the two ultrasounds. Add to that the fact that his two sisters were born on their due dates, and that his mother was measuring exactly the same in terms of her belly and her weight gain (to the 1/4″ and to the pound, respectively) as she did in her two previous pregnancies, and we were absolutely certain that he would arrive on or very near his due date. We’re very grateful to be able to welcome him into this world earlier – we prefer that his birthday remains somewhat distinct from Christmas, even though it’s only a couple of weeks away.
Lots of people have asked about his name. Allow me to dissect:
Andon – is Latin and is an ancient Germanic evolution of the Roman name Antonius. Andon refers to the Prince of the Sea. We liked it because it is simple, because it can be shortened to Andy (which we like very much), and because it has Germanic/Teutonic roots, which means a lot to me. Also, we’ve heard but aren’t sure of this, that andon in Filipino means “to tie together” – if that’s the case, it’s great because this little gent has certainly completed our family.
Noah – this is a Hebrew name meaning rest or comfort. We’ve always liked the name, and in our opinion, there is an amazing biblical story attached to this name, in terms of incredible faith. Whether one believes the story, or chooses to dismiss it, I believe we can still take something away from the incredible amount of unwavering faith it delivers and I hope my son will have faith in something some day.
Wilhelm – I wouldn’t need any further reason to name my son this because it was my father’s name. My father is someone who has had an enormous impact on my life, and though I lost him 16 years ago, he continues to affect me on a daily basis. Aside from this, Wilhelm is Germanic and means will and desire in conjunction with helmet and protection. I do hope I instill will and desire into my son, and that he remains protected – by me while I can, and by good fortune and good decisions when he flies out from under my wings.
I’ve always been raised to be proud of my heritage and have wanted to impart my Germanic heritage to my kids in teaching them where we come from by passing on stories and legends and if possible, giving them names that reach back into the dark hallowed depths of time when our people were in their infancy.
I’ve mentioned this before – upon finding out that we were pregnant, everyone’s response was “Awww, you guys are trying for the boy!” Not true – as a matter of fact, I consistently told people that if I had some say in the matter, I’d choose a girl again. Having met Andon and recognizing that I never had any say in this, I’m thankful for the opportunity to raise a son. He’s a cool little dude, and the gravity of what lies ahead weighs on my heart.
I know I joke around a lot in terms of my social media exposure, and I’m like that in real life for the most part. However, I try to take my parenting seriously. I want my kids to have fun in life, but I also want them to succeed and by success, I don’t mean material success. Yes, I wish that they won’t have financial concerns, but that would be the least of my worries. I hope that I can lead them down a path where, after having practiced what I preach for the first years of their life, they will recognize the difference between good and bad, and will be able to make good decisions for themselves. I hope they will surround themselves with good people and choose good habits, and that they will give of themselves to those around them. I hope they will reap the rewards of what they sow, and when that harvest comes in, that their faces glow and their souls swell with pride and joy in what they have done.
Here’s hoping to a great father-son relationship, and the beginning of something incredible. Though seemingly unfamiliar because I’ve never raised a boy before, I look forward to the challenges and trials by fire – I look forward to holding my son’s hand as we venture forth into the unknown and I hope that he will one day come back to me with his own daughters and sons and that I’ll see him being the man I always hoped I’d be. That would be the greatest reward of all.
Thank you kindly and from the bottom of my heart to those of you who, by the hundreds it seems, responded via Twitter, Facebook and email to our birth announcement. We are honored by your well-wishes and appreciate that you took the time out of your day to send them. Now if you’ll just accompany those well-wishes with some cooking or baking, your work will be done here. I kid.
I’m blessed to have been entrusted with three children – each one of which is a very different animal and presents unique traits and challenges, and each one of which makes my soul leap bounds when I think of them. To add to this, I have the privilege of raising these children with my true soul-mate, who has made me a better man. I can’t ask for more of this from life, and yet I do – I ask that I would be the best father I can be, and in doing that, make my children the best people they can be.