Thursday, December 31, 2009


Cash and Dad's First Year and Three Quarters

Working at Bell Labs in 1964, our friend Arno Penzias was experimenting with a super-sensitive antenna when he observed a low, steady, mysterious signal in the receiver. It was so unexpected, so unexplainable, he cleaned pigeon droppings from the antenna to eliminate possible causes. In spite of the scientific community's sentiment that his signal was just noise, Arno steadfastly hunted for an explanation for years.

I have great empathy for Arno’s experience because finding something so unexplainable is maddening. Take the way you talk, or don’t talk. These days, your gobbledygook teases us with tantalizing morsels of signal, signs of communication. So we parse your verbal landscape looking for crumbs of logical expression. Instead, we have discovered a singular "word" expressed with such delight, such intent, that I know it has meaning, but you won’t find it any dictionary.


I’ve taken this word, turned it over and over in my head, picked away at piece sounds like Arno did his bird droppings hoping to find a recognizable word remaining. No luck.

I accept that our world is a churning sea of fascinating but often incomprehensible phenomena. Distilling a signal from a vast ocean of noise, and believing in that pattern recognition, is fundamental to mankind’s ability to establish beachheads of comprehension. In Arno’s case, he eventually found researchers at Princeton that had predicted radiation with the same characteristics as his observations, a radiation signature proving the Big Bang. Arno won the Noble Prize in Physics in 1978. His persistence paid off.

But I still don’t know what deeyah means. You remind me of that daily restating your case with the incomprehensible! We can decipher this much: Deeyah is an exclamation of happiness ... and we love hearing you say it. When you do, the entire Weller clan repeats the call in unison, “Deeeyah!” and we smile together. Deeyah is becoming our family call to action! Like Arno, I’ll be persistent about uncovering the specific meaning, but I know it has something to do with family happiness.

Your lack of words strikes a contrast to your love of books. You are a book worm. Promptly after slurping down your baba every morning, you go and grab a book, waddle over to me, turn around so your butt faces me, and back up like a blind beeping garbage truck until you plop into my lap. We churn through four or five books. Your favorite book right now is Little Gorilla.

The issue is, your book reading endurance far exceeds mine, particularly for the very same books. You love revisiting the same worlds, but for me its like eating the same candy over and over. There are sores in my brain. I can't contain a moan when you bring over Thomas Rides Again!

This quarter, we had our very first Cashy injury. You fell on a piece of glass at the restaurant Open City. Rachel had to take you to the hospital and you got stitches that crossed pass your thumb onto your palm. As you got your stitches, the doctor was impressed at how little you cried.

Maybe its in response to falling on something hard and sharp, but we've noticed that you've taken shine to soft things. You climb on to our bed, stand up, and then fall like cut tree onto our down comforter. Strangely, you just lay there, face down in the comforter for minute relishing the warm cuddly feelings. If someone leaves a pillow on the floor, its not uncommon to find you face down on it, silent, blind, and, apparently, completely content!