Welcome Baby Gourmand

As I sit here in the quiet of my office, I’m keeping one eye on my computer and one on the rock-and-play positioned next to my desk. It’s well past midnight, and Deacon is (finally) sleeping soundly to the drum of my keyboard as I work on missed writing deadlines. A little over a week old, he still hasn’t acclimated to life outside the womb, sleeping when we’re up and about in the middle of the afternoon and crying to be held when the world around him craves sleep.

I’m running on fumes as I gaze on at his peaceful face, knowing that moving him will result in another half hour of cooing and cradling him back to sleep. Thus, I keep writing while he sleeps, hoping to make sense of my words in the morning after consuming a pot of coffee.

It would be easy to complain, to throw up my hands and say, “What was I thinking? Life was good pre-newborn.” It’s not that I can’t. It’s that I don’t want to. They say something magical happens in the delivery room, that you experience a love deeper and different than you ever felt before. I called bullshit for many years, but as of 3:46am on October 15, I now understand as I continue to fall deeper in love with each sleep deprived minute.


Deacon (3 of 6)


Welcome Baby Gourmand

Fellow writers told me to bring my journal to the hospital and capture every moment and experience in words. Maybe they’re better writers than me, but I couldn’t. I was too dang tired. I stood by my wife’s side for all 32 hours of her labor, supporting her as best I could. When the moment came and Deacon arrived, I was exhausted. Adrenaline carried me through the next few hours. I had never held a newborn nor changed a diaper. Every ounce of energy went towards learning to be a Dad.

There are also things that happen that are just too personal to share. I saw and did a lot more than I expected in the delivery room (labor and delivery class did nothing to prepare me for an understaffed maternity ward). Those things need to remain in my wife and my memories and nobody else’s.

I’m also a slow writer. To truly capture the moment would have required hours of slow contemplation and writing. I didn’t have hours. My time was spent supporting my wife as she nursed, changing diapers, and cuddling with my son. Any other spare moment was spent catching a few Zs before starting that process all over again.


Deacon (1 of 6)


Behind the Name

We were very intentional in choosing a first name for our son and completed hours of research and weeks of contemplation. No, he wasn’t named after one of the lead characters in the show Nashville. Although, the show did help alert us to his name.

We were flipping through a stack of baby name books borrowed from the library when I stumbled across Deacon, which means dusty one or servant. Up until this point, we were looking for names associated with travel. Yet, servant felt right.


Deacon (5 of 6)


While travel is a major part of our lives, it’s not what we want to define us. Our service to family, community, and God is how we strive to define our relationship. As we help shape the life of our son, we want those same values instilled in him.

We didn’t decide his middle name until minutes before Deacon’s birth. For the longest time, we were going to follow the Southern tradition of using the mother’s maiden name. While I liked the sound of Deacon Lee, my own inadequacies kicked in.


Deacon (2 of 6)


Truth be told, I wanted a daughter. Not because I preferred either sex but because I felt (and still feel) that I will let my son down. Due to my visual disability, I won’t be able to teach him to be a man. I can’t play sports. I’ll never be able to show my son how to catch a baseball or throw a football. I also lack any ability to be mechanically inclined because I can’t see well enough. My wife is the one that fixes stuff around our house, and my idea of changing a tire is calling AAA. By giving him my name, I hope that he’ll carry some part of me into adulthood.

I didn’t admit this to my wife until the week before his birth. I was embarrassed. Then, as the doctor came into the delivery room ready to perform his final feat, he asked us the name. Mrs. G. said Deacon Bryan Richards. Those were the first of many tears I shed over the next few days.


Deacon (4 of 6)


What’s Next for the Blog?

I don’t really have an answer to that question yet. This is a food travel blog and food will always inspire my travel. I also have a son now. How and if I want to incorporate him into the blog, I’m not sure.

I know that I open myself up a lot as a blogger. I’m fine with my own life. But what about his privacy? Shouldn’t it be his decision on whether I broadcast his life to the world? Yet, I also want to inspire others to know that a life of travel is still possible with a family. How shall we share his likeness? I ask for your patience, dear reader, as my family figures it out. I will tell you that we already have a few family trips planned for the next few months. You’ll just have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I do offer the photos in this post as we proudly welcome Deacon Bryan into the world.

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Deacon (6 of 6)