This is supposed to be a sports column, and Iâ€™ll get to that shortly, but even though there have been some amazing bowl games and NBA basketball on television, Iâ€™ve been somewhat preoccupied over the past week.
My son, Connor Lee Gebelein, was born a week ago, Friday afternoon, at 4:30 p.m., barely beating the Dec. 31 deadline for tax breaks and insurance deductible reloads. If he can come through under pressure that way for the rest of his life, he may have a bright future in journalism.
While it may be too early to put a jersey on his back and cleats on his feet, I started indoctrinating him into the sports culture when he was just a few hours old. My wife and I had noticed that in many of his ultrasound pictures he kept his hands in front of his face, so while we were never able to get a good look at his profile, he appeared to have a natural penchant for boxing.
Iâ€™ve already expressed, in a previous edition of this column, my great love for the Sweet Science, and with any luck Iâ€™ve passed that genetic predisposition down to my son.
I tried to teach him about leads and hooks and footwork, and he didnâ€™t seem to understand, so we did the next best thing. I put the documentary When We Were Kings, the story of the Rumble in the Jungle fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman, on the laptop, and I swear I think I saw my little manâ€™s eyes perk up when Ali discussed his â€œAnchor Punchâ€ knockdown of Sonny Liston.
I was talking with my wifeâ€™s grandfather on Christmas day, and since heâ€™s a father of six children, and grandfather of six and now a great-grandfather, I trust his insight.
He told me that every man, secretly or not, wants to have a son, and even though things have changed somewhat since his children were born in the 1950s and 1960s and boys and girls are treated much more equally, thereâ€™s nothing like knowing your bloodline and name will continue for at least another generation.
When people asked me, when I first found out my wife was pregnant, if Iâ€™d prefer a boy or a girl I tried to give the diplomatic answer.
Deep down, though, when we found out he was a boy, I was extremely happy. Iâ€™m sure I would love a little girl just as much, and Iâ€™d like to think we may have one someday, but itâ€™s no small task raising a girl in todayâ€™s world. A boyâ€™s role is relatively clear cut, and the things a boy is supposed to be are generally agreed upon.
Iâ€™ve already spent countless hours wondering what Connor will be like when he grows up. His mother already has him pegged as a future Doctors Without Borders physician while I envision a hybrid poet-musician-Orioles pitcher.
No matter what he chooses to be, Iâ€™m looking forward to being there for the journey.
But before we start giving him all kinds of complexes with unreasonable expectations, it would be nice to focus on the task at hand, like sleeping all of the way through the night.
Michael Gebelein is a sports writer with the Lincoln Times-News.