The Covenant

How does it happen that as infants grow into their six-month stage, their eyes, large and wide, their gaze, long and leisurely, seems to beam from a far off place, a heavenly body, perhaps, where pools of feeling need no shelter, where wonder and seriousness are in abundance, exposed and available for the innocent to absorb.

My most recent “gaze” came from my grandniece, Lucy, at her baptism ceremony. [...]

November Bloom

november iris

When I rounded the bend in the cul-de-sac in front of my house, I stopped dead in my tracks to stare at the most beautiful of blooms, an iris, planted in our community garden by my neighbor, a variety in Connecticut that always produces its clusters of flowers in early June, hearty and elegant with the graceful curves and colorations of its petals.

But this was November, nearly five full months past its days for blooming.

Under the petals, two fully developed buds were in waiting with a third further down the stem. The shock for someone like me [...]

T-REX—on My Deck

T-Rex On My Deck

One day after a wind blown summer storm, my 7-year-old grandson, Matthew, and I collected fallen debris from trees and other rubble, piling fragments of dead branches in a corner of the deck. As we stacked final bits, I remarked how great it was to have his help.  "Now, it's time to get the recycling bag, yes?”

“No. I have an idea.”

“Really?”

“Yup—you’ll see.” [...]

Living in the Listening

iPod as recording device

April 2007, on an impulse, I stepped into the Apple store in my local mall to check out the iPods on display. Smart phones had yet to arrive on the market. What I wanted to know was whether these small, sleek devices had a recording function? Specifically, could an iPod record conversations between Matthew, my seven-year-old grandson, and me? I asked, Tom, one of the sales associates.

“Sure, it just needs a microphone.” He retrieved a tiny black box from the rear of the store, attached it to an iPod and turned it on. We had a short conversation about the wonders of new technology. I put in the ear buds, dialed the recording, and listened to a nearly flawless replay of our exchange. [...]

No More Popping Babies—But Still Good to Go

yo te vigilo by Raúl González

"yo te vigilo" provided by Raúl González via Flickr's creative common license

I sink exhausted in my chair at lunch, my 4-year-old grandson sitting across from me, and hit the play button on the VCR so that the next episode of Thomas The Tank Engine rolls through while we eat. The morning has been endless moves from inside to outside, upstairs and down, [...]

Fountains of Youth

drinking water by Darwin Bell

"drinking water" provided by Darwin Bell via Flickr's Creative Common License

Brian Doyle, exceptional father and author, writes about his infant son’s timing for spouting: “He was six months old and fatter than the later Marlon Brando and I peeled his moist stuff off and leaned over to blow raspberries into his capacious belly to make him snicker and up periscope! and fire at will, captain! Good thing I wear spectacles, is all I can say.” (Children & Other Wild Animals, 76) Besides sharing the hilarity of the incident (his wife laughed so hard she had to lie down), he tells his reader as he writes, he wants that moment back again, its utter outrageousness [...]