Skip to main content

Walking on water



   As I write this I’m getting ready to go to Syracuse to pick up my two oldest, James and Cate, so they can come visit us on Martha’s Vineyard for a few days. It will take about three seconds before one of them says, “Where’s Baby Jesus going to sit on the way there?”  They are going to say this because in our family it’s a tradition to call the favored male child “Baby Jesus”. I believe this extends to my cousins as well. In our family, they all think my youngest son, Danny, is my Baby Jesus. I’m pretty sure my cousin Jeffrey is my Aunt Sally’s Baby Jesus. At least that’s what his brothers say. My brothers, Eric and Steve, were my mom’s dual Baby Jesuses. It worked out for them because they’re about a dozen years apart.
   I’d argue with James and Cate but they have cited so many examples of me lavishing attention on their brother it’s hard to defend myself so I just hug them all the tighter, causing them physical discomfort so they’ll be distracted. I’m sure mothers don’t mean to pick a Baby Jesus, and oftentimes it falls on the youngest child in the family. That’s only because the mother realizes she’s aging and Baby Jesus was her last hoorah. Now she has nothing but gray hair and varicose veins to look forward to.
   My little brother Eric made a fine Baby Jesus. He actually got through it pretending like it wasn’t even happening. The rest of us remind him still as often as we can. And the older he gets, the more he evolves into our mother. The two of them have some similarities. My mom was fairly regimented about housework and her schedule and Eric brings the word “disciplined” to a whole other level. You don’t mess with the schedule. Eric retired from the Air Force a few years ago but even if he hadn’t been in the military, I think he’d still wake up at 4 a.m. like mom always did.
   All siblings have a good time picking on the one they perceive as the favorite. The reality is as siblings grow older they figure each other out a little better and usually stop holding a grudge about Baby Jesus. They may even find themselves with a Baby Jesus of their own someday.
    Personally, I never really much worried about Eric as Baby Jesus. Heck, it might not have been easy in those sandals.  If Cate and James look a little closer, they’d see that I am all over Danny like a fly on honey and maybe that’s not such a great place to be after all. By now I’m sure they know a little distance can be a good thing, and Baby Jesus still has to put up with me checking on his every move. They might even consider themselves lucky to not be the one who walks on water. That’s a pretty tall order.

    My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass"; "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys".
 Harmon Killebrew

Comments

Deb said…
Have fun with all your babies, the deities and otherwise. I'm jealous - mine have both abandoned me.

Popular posts from this blog

Just sitting around doing jack

I think my blog may have been hijacked. I haven’t written in forever because I’ve been writing …for my job, which may mean I’m no longer a “jobless goddess.” I may just be a regular goddess.
I love the word jack. I could use that all day. Whatever, hopefully those who want to read the blog will read. Back to jack. It’s a cool freaking word. I had a brother-in-law named Jack who pretty much personified the word “cool.” He’s gone too soon and missed by everybody.
There’s Billy Jack, get back Jack, Jack Sprat, Jack Nicholson, Jack Berry, Jack in the Box, Jumping Jack Flash. And my favorite, a little ditty my sister introduced me to, “Jack Mother.” This is a something you say when someone cuts you off on the highway. “I’m sorry officer, I was cut off by that Jack Mother in the blue Subaru.”
My brother Steve has a friend named Jack. I thought he was about the greatest thing ever when I was 12. Who are we kidding? I probably still do. Jackie was hilariously funny and I loved to watch my brot…

It’s nice to have a job

What a week. I interviewed two really remarkable people: Antonino D’Ambrosio and Aamion Goodwin. That’s pronounced Ah-mayan for all you who were as clueless as myself.
I’ve had a thing for Frank Serpico ever since I saw the movie “Serpico” some 45 years ago and plastered Al Pacino’s face on my teenage bedroom wall. That was Al’s big break you know. Anyway, now D’Ambrosio has made a documentary with the real live Frank Serpico. I’m here to tell you, it may be because I’ll be 60 in a few years, but that 81-year-old Italian American is still very easy on the eyes.
The more D’Ambrosio told me about Frank, the more I fell for him all over again. He went up against NYC police corruption in the early 1970s and ended up paying the ultimate price…he’s still got a bullet lodged in his brain. Sometimes this whole newspaper thing is pretty darn sweet.
Then I talked with Aamion Goodwin. At first I was stuck on the fact that he said “right on” a few times in our initial conversation. Then I called him…

Who's got the soap?

I’m wondering at what age I’m allowed to hire a personal care attendant, covered by insurance of course. I haven’t reached my toenails in two and half years and the other day in the shower I seriously considered whether or not it was worth it to soap up below the waist. It hurts when I go anywhere past my kneecaps.
I’m okay with gray hair; that’s been coming in since I was in my 30s and I could still reach my ankles. It’s the burgeoning mountain under my man-sized T-shirts, just below my sagging breasts, that really gets to me. I want to know when exactly I stopped looking like I was 20, because it feels like yesterday. I look in the mirror strictly from the shoulders up these days.
It’s not completely depressing. I know there are about a billion other women in the same boat I’m in. I love the women who wear whatever the hell they want. Doesn’t matter if they’ve got those top-heavy grandma arms or busted veins mapping their legs. I say go for it ladies. I’m gonna get there someday.…