I came sooo close to naming him Michael.
He’d kicked first during Battlestar Galactica but finally arrived at just after six the following morning of January 1st. People ask us if we won any sort of prize for the first birth of the year but in Provo, Utah a.k.a. Babys-R-Us we were lucky to place sixth. It didn’t matter – one look at that little guy and I knew everyone else had lost that day and I had won with the smartest, best-looking choose-your-own-superlative baby in the entire world, everywhere since the beginning of time.
The Michael-impulse quickly faded away and we named him as planned: “Conrad” for my best friend and “William” for a revered mentor. Mother and child spent the day recuperating while I wandered around a daze trying to adjust to the fact that at 25 I was now a father, a role that both delighted and terrified me. Four decades later I am still delighted and terrified – raising brilliant children is a daunting, often exhausting task and I studied and worked at “dad school” even harder than I did at grad school.
I wouldn’t change a thing. After marrying my Beautiful Saxon Princess the best thing to come into my life were my children – and four decades after narrowly avoiding “Michael” my eldest son Conrad William Deitrick is everything that I saw in him that first day.