Monday, January 26, 2009

E is for Baby Goodness

Without sunshine it is natural to be anxious and feeling low. That is exaggeratedly so when you are eighty-something years old.
In winter, with the holidays behind us, it is often a sad and lonely time for elderly women.
But even when it seems dark, cold and bleak magic can happen.
This weekend past magic once again came into the life of an eighty-something year old woman by way of a sweet-natured infant.
The baby's name comes from the old Welsh word 'elus' meaning kind and benevolent. This baby is perfectly named for even at five months he is capable of bringing gentle happy light into an old lady's life.
Not all babies are tolerant. Many are intense. Most babies would not be content to sit still and allow a fragile old lady to set the pace for an afternoon's visit. Ellis contentedly did so.
Ellis and his Great-Gran do not see each other all that often. The most recent visit was only the third or fourth time they've been together.
The first time Ellis met his Great-Gran he looked right into her eyes and she into his. They connected! What made that moment extraordinary is that Great-Gran is vision impaired. What's more, at that first meeting Ellis was a very new baby. They connected! It was a splendid moment. For them. For all of us in the room.
Dear Ellis -- he gently interacted with his Great-Gran all Saturday afternoon.
Ellis' presence was magical.
Great-Gran talked to him. T'was special because most days his Great-Gran hardly speaks at all. In fact, most days Great-Gran would not be motivated to sit up all afternoon much less hold a baby or chat with anyone.
Great-Gran rarely laughs out loud. (When one feels anxious and low what's there to be laughing about?)Great-Gran laughed out loud on Saturday afternoon as Ellis laughed his grand big giggle at his soft funny toy. Irresistible.
Great-Gran values babies. They have a special place in her psyche. Her mother, a mid-wife, came to Canada from Finland because she was invited here (as a mid-wife) to deliver one of this area's first family's first baby. She stayed on and subsequently Great-Gran's mother delivered many of this community's homesteading and pioneer babes. Interestingly, some of Great-Gran's clearest memories are those of sitting and playing quietly in the other room while her mother delivered babies.
Great-Gran's happiest recollections of her life are memories of when her children were babies and of the times spent caring for her grand-daughters.
Now, Great-Gran's world has a present tense. There is Ellis. The mere mention of his name makes her perk up.
Ellis has compassionate, adoring, bright parents. He has amazing grandparents on both sides. His grandparents are individually and collectively talented and skilled people.
If the peaceful loving interactions between Ellis and Great-Gran are any indication, it is reasonable to believe the families' collective goodness is manifest in the little one named for kindness and benevolence.
Mind you, had someone told me the name Ellis meant "thunder" I could attest to the validity of that as part of the lad's abilities. After all, he sat on my lap while he filled his diaper and that was definitely like rolling thunder!

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