It was a big weekend in the North Country, at least as far as our family is concerned.
On Tuesday, our younger grandboy, Henry, turned one year old. He and his mama joined GiGi and Pops for lunch and gifts that day, which made for an usually lovely Tuesday. But the big to-do was this weekend, when grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other family gathered to celebrate his transition from baby to little boy. How did that happen so doggone fast? He has grown into such a charming young lad.
To add to the excitement, both Henry and his cousin, Sadie, were dedicated in the Christian faith this weekend. I am so proud of both sets of parents for making this a priority. So much sweetness.
Henry James was dedicated in a private ceremony just prior to his birthday party on Saturday evening. It was precious beyond words. He splashed in the patio fountain-turned-font, sending his goldfish crackers for a swim — but not before offering to share them.
I had the distinct honor of reading aloud a poem I wrote when he was born. For this auspicious occasion, Henry wore an outfit his Great Aunt Sheryl fashioned from my wedding dress. It really blessed me to see him trimmed out in 1982 brocade. Henry was a good sport in his somewhat stuffy attire, especially considering how warm the weather.
On Sunday morning, Sadie Nadine was dedicated in front of our small congregation, accompanied by grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousin, and others who adore this cherub. It was an equally precious community moment, pledging to the endeavor of raising a child in the way she should go. No easy task, for sure. It does take a village — and also, as Pastor D. pointed out, parental determination to build a spiritual legacy.
Despite the heat and humidity, Sadie couldn’t have been more cooperative. She is sweetness personified.
After church, another celebratory meal served in the style of barely organized chaos. It helps a lot that everyone is so willing to plug in: preparing and setting out food, then cleaning it up again; holding, feeding and playing with babies while others eat, then swapping. It feels kind of crazy in the moment but all too soon, babies are ready for naps and off they go, in one big swoosh, home again.
Then the Hubs and I are left with a too-quiet house, a few leftovers, and an evening to ponder this incredible time in our lives. We are so fortunate to have our chids and grandchids nearby; we know this is not the norm. That does not mean that it is always easy but it is still, always, exceedingly good. We remain grateful, indeed.
The sun is dropping now, sinking toward the treetops on the back forty. It’s a good time to return to the patio and dip my toes in the fountain, which I will forevermore think of as Henry’s font. A lovely mix of mellow music spins out some favorites. A refreshing glass of sauv blanc completes the day.
My mind wanders back to the occasion for which this mix was created — girls’ weekend in New Hampshire for a dear friend’s fiftieth birthday — not so long ago. There is one song, in particular, which always make me catch my breath. Tonight is no exception.
100 Years by Five for Fighting*
I’m 15 for a moment…
I’m 22 for a moment …
I’m 33 for a moment …
I’m 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I’m heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life
Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye
67 is gone
The sun is getting high
We’re moving on…
I am a bit sad to realize my own half time is already here. How did that happen so doggone fast? And yet I know I will be fortunate to see the show. In so many places around the world, even in our own little corner of the globe, too many pass on far too soon to enjoy the second half; my father-in-law — Ollie is his namesake — and my dad included.
So I am much more thankful than I am sad. Aging is truly a privilege. I can’t imagine a better place to grow old than smack dab in the center of this crazy family-farm-life-friends-work swirl. It is often exhausting, sometimes stressful, occasionally exasperating … but also exhilarating, richly rewarding, deeply heartwarming, and somehow, also comforting.
It is so worth every single ounce of effort dedicated to building strong families who love and honor God and one another. And then, we will have more than a lifetime. One hundred years is just the start.
Unless the Lord builds a house, the builders’ work is useless. Unless the Lord protects a city, sentries do no good.
Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it. Proverbs 22:6
~ René Morley
*FFF video performance of 100 Years here.