Thursday, January 1, 2009

185: the way to spend the first of the year

"Get used to this," Kelly tells her cartoonishly happy son. "This is the way Auntie Molly is."

He's warm, he's sweet, he's just over six months old, weighing in at nineteen pounds and Lordy, this kid can smile. Kelly was blessed with a relatively easy pregnancy and blessed with a relatively easy baby: even the nurses comment on how content he is, how bright he can be. He loves to be read to too, which is good, because books are nearly all he's gotten from me.

Kelly's had a rough go of it recently though: her husband, whose face emerges in their son in frightening ways (no milkman's child, this!), now spends nights away at a stretch, his long haul truck taking him across the country full of cabinets and whatnot, and Kelly is left to face the messy diapers and the singing to sleep. Nothing can be more delightful than that early love of a child, but what I've realized about this family is how important the husband-and-wife love is too: rare are those couples that wear their love on their sleeve after years of togetherness, but Richard's devotion to Kelly is fantastically undiminished. I imagine Kelly as they wait for a more locally bound job to arise, she in the dim of the holiday lights, the television glowing, the warmth of her son's little torso bearing down in her arms, the goodness of that and how she probably tries to hold it tight, bottle it up somehow in her memory so she can find a way to give that back to her husband--a thousand minutes missed, those clever little smiles of his.

Tonight Ryan and I were lucky enough to spend a bit of the first of the year with Kelly and Christian, and I am reminded again of how deep my oldest friend's patience can be: Ryan chasing Logger about into a frenzy, this little dog leaping onto couch and against Christian, the dog barking, the cats yowling, her son's drooly little fingers twisting around book's pages. It wasn't quite chaos, but the sort of energy that would leave me spent as an observer, and there she is, smiling away, her burbling son miming the smile right back.

Good people. We all need to surround ourselves with good people, and today, that's just what I did.

PS: Feel free to go check out the outtakes. :)


azlinlina said...


oma said...

what a beautiful baby! and a lovely post. happy new year.

KeLL said...

You're posts about Christian always make we tear up. We read both pirate books after his bath last night. He loves the pictures.
My favorite pictures of Christian are the ones you snap. You are the best Auntie and Godmother! We love you and miss you every day!

flossy-p said...

Wow, you're not wrong about the "no-milkman" comment. I can see both Kelly and Richard's faces in there so distinctly! He's adorable! :D