Benjamin’s Birthday

At 1:48 p.m. Thursday Benjamin greeted the world for the first time.   A mere two hours after his birth the family would host a welcoming like none I have ever witnessed or been a part of before. 

 Now new born babes are not new to me, having experienced the birth of my own three children and having had visits with 4 earlier grandbabies within hours of each of their births. This one was different, much more of a party atmosphere.  As one who firmly believes that all things in life happen with purpose, it took me a few days of reflection to see the light of the gathering’s meaning.

Twelve of us celebrated together in the one small delivery room, passing the bundled Ben from one to another for each to hold and introduce ourself.  His mother, my daughter, looking amazingly fresh and joyful having produced the babe just two hours earlier, sitting up in what looked like some sort of cross between a bed and an Easy Boy recliner, all smiles. The child’s father seated next to her holding their baby Ben proudly.  A threesome all a glow, representing the love of family.  Four year old big brother Nick, trying his hardest to wait his turn to hold his new brother, representing sibling acceptance and support.  Sister Rachel, two (and we can’t forget, a ½ years old), dancing all around the forest of standing legs, unable to contain her excitement, representing pure joy.  Uncle Jon, just quietly watching as he leaned against a wall for what looked like a needed support. Half scared thinking of when it will be his day to be the new Dad, represented the father’s extended family.   My daughter’s mother and I, though no longer joined, united in our love for Benjamin, represented our contribution to Benjamin’s family tree.  Courtney, a college dorm mate of the third time mom there too, representing an involved circle of helpful and dear friends.  The attending nurse, passing through the group handing out food snacks hostest style, representing a full plate of life’s opportunities, free for the taking.  And the one role that took me the longest to understand was that of the student.  A young man from the University of Washington studying in the medical field.  A stranger, who had asked permission to witness the birth and be part of our group celebration.  I decided that his presence represented a life of curiosity and learning invited to come into our family circle from the outside and become part of this new life.  Now in the middle of all this my Mother telephoned with her welcome greeting for Benjamin.  She being Ben’s Great grandmother, represents not only three living family generations but, firsthand accounts of the family members two generations before that. Her personal in the flesh, family history five generations deep, to be shared with the sixth.

 Now dear reader the story does not end there.  No, for having read my tale you have become an important part of the Benjamin birthday story too.  His coming has now also touched you representing that greater global world that each of us, all be it sometimes unknowingly, interact with every day from our very moment of birth.

Benjamin’s first day, his first few hours of life, reminds me of the truth that states, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”  Join in this party of celebration, as we all lift our glasses with a toast to each of our own wonderful, amazing futures yet to unfold.              To the Future…Cheers !

Mark Behringer   


The Death of Cave Drawings

Seemingly with every new day there is a new device to “help” us communicate verbally or in text, even as the line between the two forms grows ever more blurred.  My caveman nature harkens back to the good old days.

Witnessing the death of typewriters, rotary dial phones and the like, I wonder what it must have been like at the very first upgrade…… 

We find a young Tor working at the cave wall, Professor Gruck, standing near holding a fire torch.

“Professor, how do you spell “antelope” in profile? Is it with two legs or four?” “If it’s a deer that I saw yesterday and not one I hope to see tomorrow, do I tint it in blue or red?  And is it grammatically correct to make the stick figure hunter, bigger than the antelope? Oh no, that should have been a double hand space, not an arm’s length!  Now it’s all messed up!  I am sorry Sir.  May I start over in another cave?”

“Well son, don’t be so hard on yourself. I’ve heard that the Grand Club Master Jobbo over at the ‘Apple Tree’ is working on a completely new way of expression.”  Tor was all ears for he knew there had to be a better way, after all he was running out of caves.

“Professor Gruck, tell me what is it or is it still in Beta testing?”  “Tor you wouldn’t believe me if I told you.  With this new device you won’t need a cave. You won’t need plant dyes. You won’t even need a fire torch.” It’s so advanced our apple gathering clan will be the leaders of the whole caveman tech world.”

“What is it Sir tell me please. I must know.” “Well if you wish. Meet me down at the “Apple Tree” tonight at midnight, so that we’ll be first in line to see the morning’s grand unveiling.” And so it came to be. Grand Club Master, Jobbo stood before the masses at sunrise and held before the waiting clan the visionary “S-pad.”

For that’s what Jobbo called it. It was indeed revolutionary.  A stone tablet that you could carry freely with you everywhere, as long as you could lift it. (Later advancements would make it lighter, more user friendly for the less strong techy masses) With just a simple swing of an ordinary caveman club, marks could be made on its surface.  It was way ahead of its time.  Another thousand years of development would be needed to decode the club marks into a useable language but, everyone in the clan thought the S-pad was just way cool. The way of the future. No one was sure where it would led but, saw its potential. They just had to have one. 

All cave drawing soon would quickly die out as being old fashion technology, left only to legend and the memories of the clad elders, of a not so distant past…. Much like the legends of typewriters and rotary dial phones of our yesterdays are but memories of a bygone time. The S-pad’s time had come.

Mark Behringer