Photo by one proud father
Sure enough, "Baby Z" decided eight months in the womb was enough for him. Like I speculated, the kid just really wanted to be here in time for Stephen Strasburg's return. And he is.
I'm thrilled to announce that Brian Leonard Zuckerman was born at 12:13 p.m. Monday, five weeks early but still checking in at an impressive 6 pounds, 9 ounces. Both Brian and my wife, Rachel, are doing great. He appears to be fully developed and 100 percent healthy. And based on the first day of his life, he appears to be an incredibly well-behaved child. (Yes, I know that's not going to last long!) Rachel, meanwhile, is recovering well from her C-section, and we should all be able to go home together as one happy family in a couple of days.
Now, I know you're all trying to figure out where we came up with Brian Leonard. No, it's not some weird homage to legendary Nationals Brian Bruney and Lenny Harris. And it's not in honor of Brian Lawrence and his one bullpen session in a Nats uniform.
Jewish tradition calls for children to be named for family members who are no longer with us. So in this case, we decided to name our first son for both of his paternal great-grandfathers: Branko Zuckerman, who was born in Yugoslavia and then changed his name to Joe after immigrating to the United States during World War II; and Leonard Friend, a multi-talented musician and photographer who passed away shortly after Rachel and I began dating.
We can only hope little Brian brings as much joy to everyone's lives as my "Zadee" and Rachel's "Buddy" brought to everyone who knew them.
And we can only continue to say thank you to everyone who has offered up words of support and congratulations the last few days. You guys are the greatest, and we've genuinely been touched by your kindness.
OK, time to try to get some sleep after one of the most exhausting and rewarding days of my life. First, though, I've got to sign up Brian for Little League. What does everyone think? Should I groom him to be a switch-hitting catcher, or should I just tie his right arm behind his back now and force him to become a left-handed pitcher?...