How awesome is having a baby?


IMAG2338-1Hi everyone,

My apologies for being absent the past couple of weeks. My little son arrived on Tuesday, after 13 hours of hard labor that were almost as difficult as some grant application processes. We’re naming him Viet William Prinzing Le. We got lots of good suggestions for names, but the auctioning off the baby’s naming rights mentioned earlier…well, that was actually an April Fool’s joke. (Although, I think we may just do that if we have another kid, maybe get some corporate sponsors. “Doritos Shamwow Le” does have a nice ring to it).

I am sleep deprived, looking like an extra from the Walking Dead. I have not had more than two consecutive hours of sleep for seven days. Don’t worry, though, the poor sleep and exhaustion hasn’t been affecting me at yes, yes we would love a donation, Benjamin Franklin, thank you!

Huh? Sorry. Where was I? Oh yes, the baby. This has been one of the hardest few days of my life, trying to stay up to console the baby. For the first few days, he wouldn’t sleep without being held. Now he can for a short period of time, but once in a while, he jolts awake, and I have to tap him and say soothing things like “shhhhh, shhhh, Daddy’s here, and you don’t have to plan an annual dinner…” It is exhausting. And I have to learn all sorts of new stuff, like how to use cloth diapers (Since this is Seattle, the diapers are organic, gluten-free, and artisanal, made with hemp fibers). Having a baby changes you. Last week, I walked into the birthing center a boy. When I walked out, I was no longer a boy.

But a boy with an awesome baby! Sweeeet!!! Seriously, despite the exhaustion, the long nights, the hoarse voice, and the constant lingering smell of spit-up that surrounds me, this is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. How awesome is it, you ask? Since this is a nonprofit blog, I’ll try to put it into nonprofit perspective:

  • It is more awesome than a funder that you don’t know emailing you asking you to apply to a grant, and then you apply, and then you actually get the grant.
  • It is better than a four-day weekend where you don’t have any community meetings and you can just watch like an entire Season of Breaking Bad or Arrested Development.
  • It is better than giving someone feedback, and then seeing evidence that they actually used it and you no longer want to smack them each time you see them.
  • It is better than getting a thank-you note from a student saying how much your program has helped her, with terrible spelling and a sweet but horrible drawing of you.
  • Better than checking your email and finding someone has made an online donation. Better than meeting your annual dinner goal. Better than that feeling you get the day after a major event when you still have so much crap to do but at least it’s over and you can go splurge on some ice cream.
  • Better than a retreat that actually leads to a doable action plan that everyone is happy about.
  • It is better than cleaning up your cubicle and finding a gift certificate for a dozen vegan cupcakes that someone gave you but you promptly lost because your cubicle is the Bermuda Triangle of documents.
  • It is better than beating traffic and arriving early for a meeting, so early that you can take a 15-minute nap in your car in the sunshine and then waking up and freaking out thinking you may have overslept but then realizing you still have six minutes so you set your alarm for five minutes and go back to sleep.

Having a sweet little baby is better than all those things. And almost as good as a multiyear general operating grant.

  • Congrats Vu! If you think you’re sleep deprived now, just wait 15-16 years until he starts dating….that will keep you up all night

    • Vu

      Thank you, Michael. I will try not to think about this kid becoming a teenager. So far, I’m really enjoying fatherhood and would like to keep it that way.

  • Big congratulations, Vu! Enjoy him – he’s adorable!

    • Vu

      Thanks, Mary. He changes every day and is so amazing. Especially when he’s not throwing up on me.

      • 🙂 And the next thing you know, he’ll be graduating from college and you’ll wonder how he got so old when you’re just a few years older…

        Enjoy every minute of it!

  • Congratulations! tiny babies are so precious! and I must admit that I am relieved the naming bid was an april fools joke! 🙂

    • Vu

      Kelly, we’re freaking out that he’s already gained a pound. I want him to remain tiny for a long time.

  • Congratulations!!! A very exciting moment that I remember like it was yesterday, even though it was not, by a long shot . . .

    In fact, I am at the very far end of the parenting spectrum, with a child graduating from college in May, and coming home to live in our basement until life presents a better option.

    Say, that kind of reminds me . . . . . . . . don’t nonprofits like yours give jobs away to relatively unqualified young professionals as part of your, uh, what is that cute word you use to describe that thing you do . . . uh . . . oh, yeah! “Mission”!!! Yeah, that’s it!!! You have a “mission”!!!

    I heard from a friend of a friend’s friend’s cousin’s friend (who is a member of your board) that you had a vision about your mission that involved hiring my daughter to achieve some goals and objectives and whatnots, so that’s a good as a contract from where my pro bono counsel sits . . .

    That being the case, I’m going to go ahead and padlock our basement and tack a ticket to the Pacific Northwest on the back door for my daughter to find and use, with gratitude to your “mission” (snrrk! giggle! pfft!) and your vision (hink! ggssssk!! hehs!) and all the good things that come from them.

    Thanks so much! Nonprofit Executive Directors are awesome problem solvers!!!!

    All best,

    Eric in Iowa

    P.S. My daughter prefers Cabernet Sauvignon to Pinot Noir, so please stock your next fundraising gala accordingly . . . she gets sulky when she drinks wine that tastes like socks, and it will definitely impact her ability to serve your “mission” (pffffffffffttttt!!!!!!!) and “vision” (Oh God . . . . I slay myself . . . . HAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! . . . . . )

    • Vu

      JES, you wouldn’t perchance have had a few glasses of Pinot Noir yourself when writing this comment…? Because no ED ever sounds that happy. Coolest dad, ever, knowing what wine his daughter prefers. Send her over. Our “mission” and “vision” always seek good people…people who align with our “values.”

  • andreatjs

    Vu — So wonderful you are a father. Congratulations. Welcome to a very special club. The very very tired club. It’s hard to believe that millions, billions of people make babies and we just walk around like it’s nothing. Andrea

    • Vu

      Thanks, Andrea. I swear I replied to your comment already, with something witty. But I think it must have been one of my sleep-deprived hallucinations.