When my youngest grandson, James Kenneth Sullivan was first put in my arms a day or so after his birth, he never opened his eyes. So long as he was comfortable, safely held, warmly wrapped and with his stomach reasonably full, he seemed content. It did not matter whose arms held hm.

The next time I saw him was when he was maybe 3 weeks old. This time he did open his eyes and took a long, appraising view of me. It was the first glimpse I had got of his eyes which are an indeterminate blue-type colour and we cannot tell yet whether he will be a cool misty grey like his mother and maternal grandfather, or a true and brilliant blue like his paternal grandmother, or brown like his father, brother and other relatives. I would bet on the grey. I saw him stiffen slightly as he thought, this is Not-My-Mother; but I spoke to him warmly and he responds well to the pitch of my voice.

We visited Elisabeth again last week, so James is about 8 weeks old now. He is so tall that he outgrows the measuring device and the nurse shouts at Elisabeth that she cannot be holding him in the right position. She is however and the nurse makes a note on the file and asks Elisabeth to keep visiting the clinic.

Elisabeth is putting James (whom William for some mysterious reason refers to as Bates) for a rest but William starts wailing for something to eat. Elisabeth hands me the baby while she fixes something. To my great surprise, after he has looked at ‘Not-My-Mother’ with interest, he smiles at me – his first smile that I have seen. He makes a few squeaks, blows bubbles, listens to me, smiles again. So expending great energy, he begins to shake and to move his arms so that it almost looks like the dancer’s solo. He smiles at me. I praise his efforts and he coos with delight. I am overwhelmed with joy and pleasure,

He lies before us, like a new country. There is mist among the sunshine and we cannot see clearly but certain features are already outstanding, like mountains in an unknown landscape. I sing to him, the Scottish lullaby, Coulter’s Candy, and then for good measure, You cannie throw your granny aff a bus. He listens and tries a few squeaks of his own.

James Kenneth Sullivan. You have arrived. May you live and prosper.


About adhocannie
I am a good natured woman with a long memory and a swift tongue. I like loooking at things and thinking about them. Also food, clothes, travel, reading, sewing. I try to see the ridiculous in things, but sobriety of reflection keeps edgting in. I have husband, children, grandchildren, friends... I feel rich in things that matter. I am a happy exile. I like writing. I do not like talking about me (though I do.). You willl be much more interesting.

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