A Fortnight Plus One Before Christmas—A Birthday


Nathan, holding hands with his mother.

It seemed like a good day to enter the world, baby boy. It was warm today in the upper Midwest, windy, sometimes cloudy and sometimes bright with sunshine.

For a Dec. 10, it was a nice day. It was a good day for a birthday, little Mr. Nathan. Don’t expect you’ll always see 50 on your birthday if your life’s journey keeps you this far north of the equator, even with global warming.

True, the world in a mess today—terrorism and war and Donald Trump and all don’t seem like portents of a placid time. Then again, in my lifetime I don’t think there has been a placid time. I hope for better for yours.

But despite the global mess, it was still a beautiful day. I saw you today for the first time, and as usual with a young grandchild, or any small baby, for that matter, you were an instant hit. There’s something inherently charming about such a small squirmy warm bundle with the head that is so huge—too big for its tiny body—and yet, at the same time, seems impossibly small for a human begin.

Well, your head will swell and your body will grow and you’ll get smarter and more interesting. But, I don’t know if you’ll ever be as inherently charming as you were today, sleeping there in your basinet, dreaming of warm, cozy wet places, recovering from the ordeal of birth, just waiting for a willing grandfather to pick you up for a time.

As your mom took a much-needed nap this afternoon, I paced around your hospital room with you in my arms.

The nurse from the night before, who had aided your mother while she was in labor, stopped by and quietly inspected you as I held you. You had the hiccups.


Grandma holds Nathan.

Nonetheless, in a whispered voice intended to let your mother stay asleep, the nurse said: “He’s beautiful. Look at all that blond hair!”

If your hair was dark or you were bald, you would still be beautiful, I’m sure. Still, when she whispered, I thought she spoke with a sense of awe. No doubt she has inspected many a baby boy or girl, and probably pronounced most of them beautiful, and meant it more than 90 percent of the time.

But you are beautiful, and entered life on a beautiful day made even more so by the fact that you chose today to enter the world.

Welcome, Nathan. By the day of your birth and your healthy weight, you cost me a lunch in a bet with one of your ornery aunts, but you’re totally worth it. Today was indeed a beautiful day.


Pretty baby boy in grandma’s hands.

Leave a comment

Filed under Grandchildren, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s