I spent my entire childhood and in fact much of my early adult life haunted by the constant admonition that, were I unable or unwilling to serve forth a male heir from the seed of my loins, the fine Linford line of the Ab Shaw family name would die with me, the last male descendant. And so it was to my great relief that on January 28th, 2009, we brought Jack kicking and screaming into this world, the first great-grandson of Jupe Shaw.
And yet, for the last three years I have been chilled by the burden I must one day place on his shoulders, that he too must likewise go forth and prosper in order to sustain the Shaw name. I thought of this again this morning, home from work with a sick Caroline, as I stumbled upon that tremendous Montana Presbyterian Flyfisherman's tale - A River Runs Through It. As I watched, Caroline engrossed in tormenting the dog, I witnessed anew the relationship of the two brothers that is sketched so clearly by Norman Maclean. I saw their coming of age, as they fish, and fight, and have great adventures together, and come back home and hug their dear mother. I knew that I would miss Doc's ultrasound this afternoon, but I was struck at the time by a sense that this new one would be a boy.
And so it shall be, for as Kim returned home to share the news, we told Jack he was going to have a little brother. "Neat," he said, grinning from ear to ear. "Can I have a brownie too?"