The little guy in my header turned three this month. Almost simultaneously, he stopped wearing diapers and moved from his crib into a big boy bed.
He can charm the socks off an eskimo. And he'll sit in time out until the cows come dancing home before he'll offer up an apology he doesn't think is warranted.
I used to call him Baby Drew and then Not-so-baby Drew and now he is Drew. This weekend he arrived with his baby brother and his Mother to visit his great grandmother, who he calls Gumma.
This was not an easy visit because his Gumma, his mother's beloved grandmother, and my beloved Mother, is not doing well. It was important especially that my daughter Jessica be able to spend some time with her grandmother, who she dearly loves.
Jessica prepped Drew in advance: he was not allowed to run, to yell, or to jump. He was to give Gamma a gentle hug and say "I love you Gamma.'
Unlike when he is his wild comfortable self, Drew is shy in new situations. I thought he might be overwhelmed once we we stepped in the rest home and many elderly people would be excited to see a three year old child. So I told him he should just wave each time someone wanted to see him. That's what he did: he raised his little hand, folded over his fingers, smiled, and waved.
Our visit was bitter sweet. My mom is not herself. She is too tired to be vibrant. But even so, it was oh so precious. I love seeing my Mother and my daughter together. Their love for one another is visible.
Drew was an angel. He hugged, he kissed, he learned how to put ice in a cup using ice tongs, he played with the rest home bird, Chippy. And with great affection and enthusiasm he flung my Mother's large yellow stuffed duck directly at her head, intercepted by Jessica one second before impact.
And when we left, he remembered to wave. He waved at each person we passed in the kitchen and in the corridor and in the lobby. When we got outside there were three elderly women sitting on the porch and he waved at them too.
And then, as we started down the steps, he ran back to one of them, steadied himself, and proudly told her:
I'M WEARING UNDERPANTS!