Sunday, January 6, 2013

In the Eyes of a Boy

Fourteen years ago on this day my two oldest brothers died. The years since then have withered away. I am older now, and I like to think I am wiser than that sixteen year-old, though I cannot always see it.  For eleven of those years, January 6th was sad and gloomy and reproachful. Then my nephew was born on the twelfth January 6th they'd been gone, and named Thomas Andrew for his uncles who left this life that day. And thanks to him, the day is no longer so sad or gloomy, and is not at all reproachful.

Thomas looking at a balloon

I do not get to see Thomas very often. In fact, I did not get to meet him until he was 6 months old because he lives on the East Coast and I live in the West. He was a delight, big eyes and a round face. The summer we met I sat on the floor and played with him. One day I watched him while his parents were at the dentist. We sat on the bed and watch "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart". It was the interview portion and there was no cursing.

I visited him in Boston that September. The first time I rode in the back of the car he was so excited to have someone back there with him. It was that trip that I got to know him and his habits: fluffing his diapers by pulling them all out of the basket and flinging them around his living room, finding the opening and closing of blinds so hilarious it gave him hiccups, his affinity for the outdoors and his unease at the feel of the Atlantic for the first time, his love of dogs. How he cried when we left and he realized he didn't get to come with us.

A few months later he came to Utah for Christmas. On New Years Eve the whole lot of us went to a BYU basketball game. To quell my disinterest I held Thomas on my lap. There he sat, quite content for most of the game. Then someone brought in ice cream. We had a birthday party for him before they left. I bought him a green, blue and white plaid shirt. He looked quite handsome in it.

I haven't seen Thomas for a year. That will get remedied in a month when I'll meet him and his parents and his little sister Maggie in Orlando for a week of sunshine, un-inversioned skies, Lego Land, Ron Jon's Surf Shop, and the Florida coast. I am grateful for Thomas everyday for taking the pain out of this day and turning it into joy. Happy Birthday little boy, I'll meet you in the Sunshine State.


  1. I love that he was born on that exact day. So serendipitous. He is super adorable! Why Florida, by the way? How is Tim's schooling? How much more does he have?

    Love you cuz!