Monday, September 18, 2017


Mimi and Tim told us all they would call her 'Ellie' but no one does.

She is "Eleanor" pure and simple.

And she is wondrous.

Only one day last week was she anything but engaging, happy and humorous. And that day the cold she had all week was really bad. She didn't cry much, even then. She just couldn't consecrate and 'be present'. Nothing much satisfied her.

All the other days she was the baby from Mars, or somewhere other than here, where babies are wondrous, happy, engaging and humorous.

Two things she like best: 'marching' and 'open/close'.

Marching she did mostly with Bern. The house we were in ("Spoiled Rotten" was it's name!) was great. You could go from the dining room to the living room to the fifth bedroom (which became a nap room and play room since no one slept there) to the kitchen and back to the dining room. Bern would hold Eleanor's hand and they'd march, Bern singing, Eleanor waving 'hi' to each person they passed on their circuit, over and over, round and round, time after time.

Also, I played 'open/close' with the door of the nap/play room. Eleanor would shut the door, I'd knock and open it, she'd wave and close it. Over and over, time after time.

A variation was a drawer or a door on a bedside stand that she would open, put one thing in, then close and then open and put another thing in, then close, then open and put one thing get the picture. One drawer was in a lamp table besides the stairs to the second floor. The house had a gate to keep babies from going up the stairs and lots of those foam covers for beer cans. I had about a dozen of the cozies for beer and I'd fold them up and put them in the strings of the gate and Eleanor would take them, one at a time, open the drawer and drop it in, close the drawer and get another, open the drawer and drop it in, close the drawer...on and on, over and over.

When she had 10 of them in the drawer I'd snatch them out and refold them and put them in the gate while she took the last two, opened the drawer, dropped them in, closed the drawer.

We did six rounds once--our record. She has amazing concentration and a stunning attention span. I got tired of the game long before she did.

And she laughed and kissed her mom and dad and herself in the mirror in the nap/play room.

She is such a joy. Such a gift. Such a wonder.

And she is 'Eleanor', not 'Ellie'....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.