Today, my wife and I were blessed to witness the birth of our second child, a beautiful and very healthy boy we’ve named Tobias Vaughn Thierer. Toby weighed in at just 7.2 pounds and took an immediate liking to his big sister, who suddenly realized she’s no longer the baby in the family. (I could already see the look in her eyes as she began plotting years of revenge in the form of random beatings of her kid brother).
Witnessing a birth is always an amazing experience and “miracle” is not too strong a term to use when you watch the whole process from start to finish. But what’s even more special about a birth in today’s world is how easy it is to share the news, and even the images, with friends and family miles away who cannot be there with you. Toby’s grandparents live in South Carolina and Florida and yet tonight they are looking at pictures and a video of their new grandson.
Just a few minutes after he entered this world, I had already snapped a dozen photos with my digital camera and recorded a short video with my camcorder. I called the grandparents a short while later and told them that baby and mom were doing great and they could actually hear the baby crying on the phone while we chatted. A few hours later and had everything uploaded to my PC and sent out to family and friends. And for good measure I burned a few DVD copies of the movie to send down to them so they can see if on their bigger TV monitors in a few days. And tonight, here I sit at my computer telling the whole world about it on this blog.
Pretty amazing when you think about it, eh? Consider the countless generations of human beings that walked this earth before us who never had such technologies at their disposal. Heck even 50 years ago most of this wasn’t possible. To really appreciate just how much the world has changed for the better you need to read this wonderful essay in a recent issue of Popular Science. Author Larry Smith spent 10 days in a big city living with only the technologies of 1954 at his disposal. Just how different is life without cell phones, computers, the Internet, e-mail, DVD players, ATM cards, and other modern technological amenities? Read his article to find out.
In the meantime, I’m going to go get some good old-fashion sleep. That’s one luxury I won’t have at my disposal in coming weeks after Toby gets home.