At about 8:00 Thursday evening, Isabeau arrived at Charlestown, her parents, Caleb and Lauryth in tow. They had been met at the airport by Josh. (You know Josh by now.)
Until Saturday, I had them to myself. Well, not exactly, as we could not walk more than a few steps in the halls or enter an elevator without residents and staff stopping us to look at the baby and to talk. We visited Esther, about whose 100th birthday celebration in December I have yet to post. While Caleb and I held Isabeau and chatted, Lauryth, a trained swimmer, had her first swim post-partum. Dinner was at the Fireside, one of our Charlestown restaurants. Nursing mother Lauryth, who needs to eat and who can’t tolerate sugar, was delighted with the food here. Always mashed potatoes and gravy available, and no-sugar desserts.
Saturday was crammed with visits. Son Steve, whom I’d persuaded to come from Colorado during Isabeau’s residency at Charlestown, and Great-granddad Skip arrived at 10:00. While Skip stayed with Isabeau
and family in their guest apartment, I had good one-on-one time with Steve. Then we all had lunch at the Shortline cafe. That afternoon I took Isabeau and her parents to the Care Center to visit Lorraine and June, who were, of course, thrilled by seeing the baby. As were all the residents and staff who saw us. That evening, Steve and Skip took the new family to son Pete’s house for dinner. (That’s where Noah lives, you may remember.)
On Sunday I hosted brunch for 17 people, all of Caleb’s East Coast relatives. Here we are, absent a cousin who arrived later.
Left to right: Pete with Noah, Steve Johns, Skip, Karin, Josh, Matt, me, Lauryth with Michael behind her, Carolyn, Caleb with Isabeau in the wonderful Moby, Anne, cousin Nancy Draper and her dad Steve Draper, Caleb’s uncle on his mother’s side.
As we waited for our table to be set up, gifts were presented. (The Moby really is a wonderful, low-tech way of carrying a baby. I carried grandson Caleb in one when he was less than a month old and looked just like Isabeau.)
From Michael’s family, a library of classic baby books, the ones Matt and Josh had most loved. As had Caleb and Lauryth.
The Refectory staff did an outstanding job. I had told them I’d be bringing 12 people for brunch and asked if we could be seated together. But we unexpectedly became 17 people. Nevertheless, the staff moved tables together around which we were all seated.
Outside the Refectory as we waited: Michael, Anne, Carolyn, and Steve Johns.
Matt and Josh, who had come straight from pole vaulting practice, Michael in dark glasses because a bad cold had inflamed his eyes, Skip, Steve, and Carolyn.
The Draper family: Nancy, Steve, Annie, and Barbara.
Us, inside the Refectory. There were empty tables because it was near the end of brunch service. There were empty seats at our table because some of us were at the buffet.
At one end.
At the other end.
Skip, Steve Draper, Steve Johns, and Barbara.
It was impossible to get shots of everyone at the table, as people kept going back to the buffet.
Everyone got to hold the baby. Here’s Anne’s turn. She’s my daughter-in-love because she and Pete are no longer married.
Then Pete took his turn. Anne and Pete’s children, Michelle and Luke, are now 20 and 18, and I just remembered, because they’re both at college, Isabeau did NOT meet all her East Coast relatives.
For 20 minutes or so, while Pete held Isabeau, Noah held on to Pete’s leg.
Finally, he decided to show some interest in Isabeau.
After brunch, Caleb and Lauryth got some play time in the pool, while Isabeau entertained Gram.
Isabeau smiling, a little smile. She actually looked into my eyes and gave me an open-mouth, full smile. Caleb and Lauryth will testify.
Caleb is my first grandson. While Aly and Lilly are my great-granddaughters on Ernie’s side of the family, Isabeau is the first of her generation of Johnses.
Read Full Post »