Saturday, July 19, 2008


Today is my only nephew's thirtieth birthday. Such a beautiful baby he was and it doesn't seem that long ago. (Although in some ways more than that, time is doing an elliptical thing on me now at my age.) Now he is the father of a baby who will soon be one year old himself. They are all in Toledo, celebrating this milestone birthday and a first wedding anniversary.

We are the old folks now, even though we don't feel that old. Just tired. I remember Mama and Papa on the day my nephew, their first grandchild, was born. They were so proud and pleased, wishing that 2500 miles didn't separate them from holding him and oohing and ahing. Those same miles separate me today, but with email, and digital cameras and youtube, we are only minutes, even milliseconds away.

As I have reveled in the pictures being sent back and forth this year, I have also dug out the old photos, sent by snail mail and just as eagerly awaited and enjoyed. The pictures of a tiny baby lying still curled up and with his tiny little perfect rump in the air. Later the toddler. One Halloween a little boy in a Davy
Crockett hat and costume, perfectly tucked away and waiting for him, saved by his father's mother. A mental image of a large pile of luggage piled into the garage and a small boy asking, "Aunt Maggie do you always travel with so much luggage?" "Only when I'm moving home, my dear." (An equally impressive amount of luggage and boxes and whatever filled the borrowed van when his parents moved him to collage fourteen years later.) A photo of a small boy getting on the school bus for the first time is followed by many Christmas and Easter photos with a pretty little sister, both in their holiday best.

One year when Toledo stores where depleted of that year's perfect toy, Papa and I scoured the stores out here and found He-Man's castle. Before it was sent on I had to play with it myself (just checking to make sure that all the parts were really there, you know.)

Baseball, basketball, football and finally Lacrosse filled my nephew's growing up years along with school, friends, family and Scouts. One of my most cherished photos shows him with his parents on the occasion of his Eagle award. Now, I believe, he is leading a Cub Scout troop himself and coaching Lacrosse. Service is a family tradition as his Dad coached Little League and his Mom is still a scout leader.

Pictures of graduations have given way to one with a chocolate Labrador. That has finally given way to the picture on my dining room table. Taken on the beach at Key West it shows a handsome and confident young man with his beautiful new wife. I love you both. Happy birthday, happy first anniversary and many more. May you grow in love and peace.

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