MENIFEE, Calif. — These are challenging times to be raising a baby but what about an Avatar Baby? In this Zevely Zone, I went to Menifee to meet two parents filled with hope.
I met first-time parents, Krystel and Earle Doudera at a park near their home.
"As soon as we pulled up and I saw you guys I said, 'I'm so nervous,'" said Krystel.
I asked, "Is that the star?"
"That's him," said Earle pointing to his baby.
Earle and Krystel knew parenthood wouldn't be a walk in the park, but no one warned them they would be raising a COVID baby.
"He was born two weeks after the 'Stay at Home Order' were put in place," said Krystel.
"A couple of weeks ago I realized he's never even been inside a grocery store."
During their courtship when Krystel and Earle were shopping around for love, they found a passion for science fiction in each other.
"We had a Star War themed wedding," said Krystel. Earle dressed up as a Sith and Krystel a tasteful Jedi.
"I didn't want it to go overboard," laughed the 27-year old mother.
Right around the time Krystel and Earle were getting hitched, they also became attached to the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender. They developed a profound respect for the Avatar character Zuko.
"Didn't Zuko start off as a villain?" I asked.
Both parents answered, "He did."
But they informed me that Zuko, the exiled prince, eventually chose good over evil.
"He has a change in heart and change in personality," said Earle.
So, Krystel and Earle decided to name their son Zuko. They even paid for an Avatar baby photo shoot.
"My hope for him is that he grows up and realizes that everything he has he has the power to use it for good," said Krystel.
Just holding Zuko brings a feeling not of this world.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the feeling I had when I saw Zuko being birthed for the first time. I felt all of this energy, everything I've been living for had lead up to holding my son," said Earle.
Earle was born in the U.S. and Krystel in the Philippines. Together they hope Zuko grows up in a world that judges a person by character not color.
"Cause there is so much hate right now and it sucks, like can we just get along?" said Krystel.
After all, if a Sith can love a Jedi. "In this nation we are capable of loving each other," said Earle.
Zuko's life is just beginning, but this story ends with a final word from the Avatar Baby.
"Hummm, maom," he said while gnawing on his dad's arm.
"That's right, that's right," said his parents encouraging their little hero along.
In case you're wondering, Earle and Krystel's fathers' names are Matthew and John.