We Saw Baby B Today

We saw baby B today. He has large blue eyes, chubby cheeks, and doesn’t want to go to sleep. Like baby R, he rarely blinks and drinks the world in. Like Imme, he wants to be a part of the conversation.

Baby B, who would have thought! What can I tell you of the world you’ve landed in? I can tell you of the easy generosity of your parents, the warmth in which they’ve always welcomed us and our friends into their home. I can tell you of that time just before you were born, of Christmas dinners and barbecues. How your parents would try to read Moby Dick to you. I can tell you how your father tried different names on his tongue, looking for the best one to yell angrily at you in your adolescence. (Carl!) I can tell you of times earlier, of the shining excitement I felt when your mother and I moved to the city.

I can tell you how our paths intersected over years. When your father flew to France, when your mother lived in Boston for a summer. When we walked the leafy campus. When your mother and Brooke waged a war of attrition against their roommates over toilet paper. When we chased down a bus, a baguette strapped to your mother’s backpack. “You could surf on the wave in his hair,” and failing to stifle our laughter. Awkwardly watching classmates perform “Is this sexual harassment?” skits in Business French. So many more stories from this era, I should try to capture them.

I can only tell you from the middle of the story, because it stretches even further back, to debates and math teams, to high school slights, to high school dances. Still, I can tell you of your mother’s handwriting, and of the time your father painted her a canvas, colors bold and textured.

I can tell you that today we sat with you, and ate baked French toast, and drank coffee and mimosas. We talked of careers, the new house you would move into, and family. I can tell you of the time before, and I can’t wait to hear from you of all the times to come.

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