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Welcome to baby Beatrix!

Pour me a drink, my head is spinning!
I got to celebrate — a girl!
Somebody weave a chain of daisies;
You’ve got to decorate a pearl.
Tie her a bow of scarlet ribbons.
We’ve got to crown a tiny curl.
Pick out a tender tune for singing;
I got to welcome me a girl!

– “It’s a Boy!,” Shenandoah1

There is very little in this world that begins to compare to the joy of adding an entry to a genealogy database for a new twig on the family tree.

Trixie1Thursday afternoon, Pacific Daylight Time, baby Beatrix decided to grace us with her presence and, this morning, in the nanosecond I have free between arriving home from the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh and leaving for a course at Boston University,2 I had the pleasure of entering her particulars.3

Born 24 July 2014.

Eight pounds, 5 ounces.

Daughter of my nephew and niece-of-the-heart Ian and Lindsay in Oregon, where I will be speaking in October and will have the joy of visiting with this new baby grand niece.

Welcomed by older sister Isadora (known as Isadorable to her doting great aunt).

And welcomed as well by legions of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins of all degrees.

There is no question whatsoever that she is the most beautiful baby on the face of the earth at this moment:


And there is no question whatsoever that her parents are doomed.

You see, we have such a history in our family…

And I can’t help but think of that history… and think of this little girl…

The fact is, she is the second child. Her older sister, called Izzy, is now just a little more than two years old.

The first child, in our experience, is the Good Child. The scholar. The caretaker. The one, for example, like this baby’s father.

Ian was my sister Kacy’s first-born. About the only trouble he ever gave her was the colic he experienced as an infant. Orderly. Intellectual. Well-behaved.

And then there’s the second-born.

Now I’m not going to tell tales out of school on my niece — she deserves a chance to tell the story of climbing out the window at 1 a.m. from her perspective, not that of her “just where do you think you’re going?” parents.

But it may tell you something when I note that I am my mother’s second child.

My older sister Diana and I shared a room from the time I came into her two-year-old life and disrupted its order and calm.

You could eat off the floor on Diana’s side of the room.

You couldn’t see the floor on my side of the room.

Diana was the one who babysat the younger kids during summers at my grandparents’ farm.

I was the one 50 feet off the ground in the crook of a tree branch pitching acorns down and making the younger kids cry.

Now I don’t want to suggest that Diana was always well-behaved. There was the time, just as one example, that she played hooky from elementary school. Playing in the field behind the new junior high school until the bells said it was lunch-time. Getting caught because the bells were the warning bells (lunch time in 15 minutes) and not the dismissal bells.

Need I mention whose idea it was to play hooky that day?

Or who said, “Listen! The bells! We can go home for lunch now”?

I can’t wait to see what Trixie gets up to.

I may have some suggestions… as one second child to another…


  1. Shenandoah, the Musical; music by Gary Geld, lyrics by Peter Udell. And no, I didn’t make a mistake; the name of the song really is “It’s a Boy!”
  2. The course description is here.
  3. And yes, I did carefully craft the citation!
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