Weekend Update:


On Friday afternoon, I played a game with my grandson. It was a very simple game, but it was our first, and the memory of Will’s chuckling delight — he can’t quite laugh yet — is never far from front-and-center. 

With both hands, I gripped his chest and held him over my lap; we both pretended that he was standing on it. This is a favorite posture of Will’s, these days, but what may also have increased his pleasure was the fact that he was looking down on me, slightly. His eyes were eager and wide, and his mouth wavered between a crooked smile and an expectant “O.” What would happen next? What happened next was his grandfather’s angling him forward, feet in place, until our foreheads touched, whereupon I said “boom!” in a silly voice. Then I eased him back to the original position. After a few seconds, he gurgled his approval. The gentle noggin knocking was repeated about a dozen times. Inevitably for Will (who takes after his mother in this regard), hiccups ensued, but the game was grand while it lasted.

Will’s development is riveting, of course, but I’m learning that the development to watch is mine. For one thing, I’ve become the most frightful bore. On Friday night, I suggested that we’d better watch an episode of Inspector Morse, if only to spare Kathleen the fifth or sixth re-telling of the afternoon’s doings in Alphabet City. Kathleen is probably not going to leave me on account of my inability to talk about anything but my grandson for three days after I’ve seen him, but I don’t expect my friends to be so tolerant.

Another problem that I’ve got to work on is anthropomorphism. True, Will is already a human being. But when he laughs, I’m ready to buy him a ticket for the revival of Lend Me a Tenor! — I’m sure that he’d love that! No? He likes to play with my big black wristwatch so much that surely he ought to have one of his own. Eleven weeks, Doodad, I tell myself. Patience!

Eleven weeks — is that all? But as spring burst out over New York this week, beginning on St Patrick’s Day, the holidays and winter dark quickly came to seem unimaginably distant. So, although Will has only just arrived, he has also been with us forever.

At one of the playgrounds in Tomkins Square Park, which Megan took to visiting on Thursday, we sat by an open space between two play structures, and as the children whizzed by in one direction or the other, crossing directly in front of us, I felt that I was watching a performance choreographed by Paul Taylor: the idea of children playing was perfectly realized by these children playing. Will may be on the brink of telling time well enough to show up for a Broadway curtain, but even I can tell that it will be a while before he scurries up a slide or climbs out on a low-hanging branch. There’s plenty of time to build up the stamina to keep up with him.

For the time being, though, I’m feeling an entirely new kind of tired.

4 Responses to “Weekend Update:

  1. Kari says:

    “So, although Will has only just arrived, he has also been with us forever.” That’s awfully lovely!

  2. Flather says:

    I have all the patience in the world for Doodad tales. They make me smile.

  3. Jean Ruaud says:

    love Doodad tales too!

  4. Mark F says:

    It just gets better, Doodad – Pop-Pop speaks from experience here (and, yes, we just bid another fond farewell to Parker)…