Thursday, May 24, 2012

And he shall be named ...

Elijah. An important prophet for Christians, Jews and Muslims. Elijah Donald, for his Uncle Don, his father's older brother, a humorous, brave, stubborn soul, given a decade to live after his birth with severe cerebral palsy, who died six years ago, after a rich life, at the age of 54. (His Lives Lived obituary is on this website, under Articles.) And then the boy will carry his mother's last name, and then his father's.

He'll be known, I am sure, as Eli. Eli's comin', as Laura Nyro told us long ago. A beautiful name. A beautiful, calm young man.

I spent the morning at the hospital, waiting with Anna for the doctor to proclaim him healthy and for forms to be filled out, his hearing to be tested (100% okay), the last of his hospital accoutrements to be removed. For a long while, when his mother was busy, he slept on my stomach, snorfling and smacking like a baby animal. Now that's bliss. We packed up all the stuff and took a cab home on this hot day, 30 degrees or so. Anna's housemate Nessie had prepared a giant tray of sandwiches and pastries and fresh coffee. The midwife arrived to check everything and give breastfeeding pointers - what a great support system is in place now. My mother loves to remind me that when I was born, in Manhattan in 1950, there were only 2 women in the crowded maternity ward who wanted to breastfeed, one of them being my mother, and there was no one to show her how.

He was changed, nursed, rocked, and much admired. His uncle Sam arrived. And then it was time for us to let the new young family be. Babe was put into his bassinette, his mother lay down to sleep, and her brother and I tiptoed out.

The other joy of grandparenting, as I've so often heard - giving them back.

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