generations

There is something resembling a routine beginning in the evenings. After successfully eating her dinner Caroline watches a bit of Nick Jr. before she launches into an all out independent bedtime. She refuses all assistance in teeth brushing, last potty break, and pj wearing. I often find her with her leg sticking out of the waistband of her undies in the morning, but whatever. There is usually at the very least mild resistance and then she settles into her bed, surrounded by animal friends and baby dolls, U2 Rockabye Baby playing in the background. When she falls asleep is anyone's guess, but it is usually without incident. 

Connor on the other hand is still sorting out the business of bedtime. Some nights he wants to have his last meal of the day at 6pm and others at 7pm. He gets his second dose of Zantac, spends some time being bounced (sometimes Mommy does a few sets of lunges), and eventually his body weight settled on my shoulder. Sometimes I am feeling ambitious and move him into the living room rocking chair for a break. Sometimes it is clear that he won't settle down that way and I don't dare relocate to the rocking chair until his eyes are closed and I hear a breathy sigh.  On the nights he is somewhat awake I have noticed some interesting behavior. We are seated in front of a large picture window, with the whole world out there to stare at. He without a doubt immediately dismisses that window and directs his full attention to a photo on an end table. It is a photo of Kiki's parents, just married, exiting Gate of Heaven Catholic Church in Southie, flanked on both sides by their mothers. Four generations back, lives full of promise, full wide smiles. Connor stares at this photo, first framed for our wedding in a silver frame and more recently outfitted in gold for Colleen and Hokie.

When I first noticed he was looking at this photo, I smiled too. It's a great photo. I myself love looking at it. I notice something new every time I sit there; the way he's holding his gloves in his hand, the bride's bouquet, the people in the background. I know that part of the reason he looks is that it is obviously a black and white photo and yes, babies do love black and white. As time goes by and I spend more time looking with him at this photo, an eerie thing has been happening. He stares so intently, so fully, that is hard not to imagine that the photo is smiling back at my baby boy. I forget momentarily why they are really smiling and it is like they are beaming with pride at their great grandson, delighted in his handsome smile, near laughing at his silly baby talk, amazed at the sturdiness of his legs.

Kiki thinks maybe her mother is helping me put the baby down.
I think she might be right.


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