Bouncing Barefoot Baby – You Better “Belize” It!

From Granny Franny,

Asher, you are a barreling bundle as you are determined to walk and take steps with giant leg stretches.

Mom and Dad are always there with a reassuring, unstinting love hold. Now Grumpy and I can also step along in your world.

You are truly a Buddha, “fully awake” little man, being 100% alive in your minute to minute life. You move along at your pace and teach those holding on to do the same. You smack your lips with a mmm mmm mmm when you want to eat porridge, bananas, squash or a smoothie. Now you can tongue click like a pro and love it when we join in.

Every moving creature is your friend. Sitting intently, you watch an ant and try to hold it in your hand. You say uh uh uh uh when you see a dog, a piggy, a horse or a bird, and you love songs, especially ones that include animal names and sounds. Your little index finger points straight in a “high one” and you particularly like it when those around you touch back. You’ve loved all our bus trips that we have been on and the interaction with many people who say, “Hola Bebe” as they squeeze your cheeks.

I have been lucky to be able to watch you in your daily life. You like to wake up slowly with Mom nearby then it’s a mountain of books and story time. Dad is already up washing your diapers and making breakfast. Next it’s an all over, sudsy, massaging bath, using your great aunt Annie’s organic body wash followed by playtime or a walk in your Stokke carrier. Then you fall into a deep, dreamy sleep with your mom’s sweet, warm milk. I have watched you gently stroking your mom’s arm, face and back while you are feeding. Then it’s mmm mmm lunch and a swim or walk time and another nap. After dinner, you are ecstatic in your nightly walk on dad’s shoulders as you bounce up and down and flail your arms in delight!

A little history I would like to share with you Asher. It was my special fortune to meet your Grandma Audrey Van Belois before your mom was born. We found each other in music and sang together for years in liturgical and choral groups. At that time I got to know your Uncle Ben and Uncle Mark and Grandpa Bill.

What a happy day for everyone when your mom, their pretty little girl was born. At the time, we were running our family summer camp called Lighthouse Landing. Our friendship grew as we had year after year of camp times with your mom playing with your Uncle Jeff, Uncle Sean and your daddy. So many times swimming to the raft, paddling, playing volleyball, singing around a campfire, and enjoying lots of pot lucks and games. When your mom was taking Suzuki piano lessons at age 7, her teacher asked her, “What in your life creates passion?” Your Grandma was present and was anxious to hear her response. Your mom’s very definite answer was, “Going to my cottage!” This family tradition was never missed and continues to this very day – 29 years later. Your mom became a very keen camper and when she was 12 years old, I asked your Grandma and Grandpa if she could stay on as a junior counselor. She genuinely loved the camp and the people who came our way.

Years later while at the camp, your mom and dad found a deeper love for each other and this grew and grew. In 2012, with family and friends present, they professed this lasting love in a beautiful lakeside wedding celebration at the place they knew so well. It was running the camp on Thanksgiving 2014 that they told us you would be coming into our lives.

Now I can see you have your dad’s eyes and your mom’s chin dimple. You make a little face with your top lip resting over your bottom lip and I remember this in a picture of baby Alyssa. You have the determination and strength of your Mommy and Daddy.

We love your many special looks like the “I am thinking” look, “let’s travel” look, “I am tired” look and the 5.5 tooth smile. You’re our bouncing, barefoot baby “Buddha,” giving us huge, happy, fully awake moments when we choose to take your hand!

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