Solo

October 7th, 2021

Lightning and thunder. It’s a rainy, windy night. Maybe I should say that it’s a rainy, windy “morning”, since it is after 2:00 AM already.

Asher is asleep. He struggled to stay awake when it got dark in the evening, but finally he crashed. At ten months of age, Asher is a willful boy, determined to do things his way. When I put him in bed several hours ago, he rolled around and kicked. He tore at my beard and grabbed at my nose. He pulled on my ears with his sharp fingernails. Slowly, very slowly, he wore himself out. The little guy finally bowed to the inevitable. His body relaxed, his face became calm, and he gave himself to that state of total rest that adults can never have. I envy him.

It is just me and Asher tonight. Karin, my wife, is in Texas with our other grandchildren, the grandchildren that she has not seen for well over a year. She flew down there visit with them yesterday. I remain here to care for Asher. I don’t mind. It just is.

The situation feels different now because of Karin’s absence. Since Karin and I became fulltime caregivers for Asher back in February of this year, we have worked as a team. It is difficult for any one person, especially an elderly person, to care for an infant. Karin and I have always given each other space. We have been very aware of the other person’s need for rest. Asher is a wonderful little boy, but he is always a very active little boy. I am writing now because I can, because my grandson is sleeping. In a couple hours things will be very different. All hell might break loose.

I am happy to be here with Asher. He’s amazing, at least he is to me. He is fascinated by his world, and I am fascinated with him. He loves our dogs, and they tolerate him. He wants to stand and walk. He wants to explore everything. All things that are old to me are new to him. He is easily impressed.

I introduced him the wonders of a phonograph yesterday afternoon. I played for the first time in a long time my copy of “Sgt. Pepper”. Asher was interested in how the record spun on the turntable. He didn’t particularly care for the music. Asher is more of a hard rock/heavy metal kind of guy. Karin puts him to sleep with Mozart. I put him to sleep with Foo Fighters.

Our youngest son, Stefan, came over to visit yesterday at noon. He brought me some Italian food, and he helped me to put up the new futon. I fed Asher blended carrots, and Stefan talked to the boy. We checked out what kind of music Asher likes. Stefan is very fond of Asher. That’s good. Asher is going to need a strong and loving uncle. Asher will not have a dad in his life. Stefan will need to be a role model for Asher.

Asher’s mom also came to visit yesterday. She put Asher down for his nap in the afternoon. She is good at doing that. She loves Asher intensely. She is a good mother.

In a few hours I plan on meeting a Greg, the deacon from our church, for coffee. Obviously, I will take Asher with me. It is always good for Asher to meet new people. Maybe it is of greater value for the others to meet Asher than it is for him to meet them. I don’t know. Somehow it seems to make things better.

God willing, I will take Asher to meet my rabbi on Monday. Asher, despite his name, will probably never become Jewish. That’s okay. He will grow up knowing good people who are Jewish. His world will be larger.

It’s late (or early). I need to rest for a while.

Asher won’t be patient with me when he wakes up wet and hungry.

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