For many little ones, I am Uncle Baldy. It’s a responsibility I enjoy so very much and one quite frankly I take very seriously. With many family and friends with babies in their lives, for some of them, their very first ones, my travels visiting them have been pure bliss. I love to play and laugh with babies and little kids. I love talking to them. I even get along with big kids/teenagers. My keys to connecting with them are to have and be fun (genuinely smile and laugh a lot, this part is super easy with kids), to be patient (which at times is not easy) and to always listen.
My favourite parts of my DC visit, as well as so many others? The kids; and I have a special place in my heart for two of them.
The last three days, I’ve been having painting dates with my niece Bea, after she comes back from school. She will be three years young on Monday. And her skills are superb. This morning, we framed last night’s work of art – her Christmas masterpiece and my watercolour rendition of the Double O Arch at Arches National Park in Moab. Her sense of accomplishment was revealed in her smile holding the newly framed picture. The look on her face so adorable, I couldn’t contain myself I was so proud. I have just met the next Frida Kahlo.
After Bea went to school, my adventures in babysitting (and I say this loosely cos the rest of the family was right there with us) continued this morning, I was taking care of my seven-week-young nephew – August. It wasn’t long before he started crying.
I rocked him. I picked him up. I put him back down. I made noises with him. I made faces at him. I talked to him.
I put him back down in his cradle, and started singing “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen. Good thing I know all the lyrics.
The screen door slams
Mary’ dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch
As the radio plays
Roy Orbison singing for the lonely
(It’s only one of the greatest songs of all-time, written and sung by one of the best performers of all-time.) I’m not a good singer but with the help of Youtube in the background I sounded serviceable to a seven-week-old. Ten times in a row, I sang.
And it worked.
For five minutes.
From what I hear, five minutes is an eternity in baby world.
Then my dad took over.
It wasn’t even 9:00 AM and I’d already had a great day.
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