Infants and their grandparents fascinate me now. Now that I've spied the irises of my first grandbaby, our boy Edmund, turning toward my voice, seeming to spy me and be all right with me, as if he recognizes something in my timbre from before he emerged to rest in my arms.
The above photo is me in Grandma's arms, my mother's mother who visited us in Buckeye, Indiana and gazed at my puckered face the way I gaze at Edmund's.
It's quite a thing.
I'm guessing Grandpa took this picture, but I don't know for certain who did. Grandpa, seven years Grandma's junior and quite a guy, always had the latest photographic equipment; thanks to him Mom owns a color 16mm movie of his and Grandma's wedding in the late 1920s.
Yesterday holding Edmund, I mused about my grandparents holding me. Like me and Edmund, Grandma and I were born in different centuries, she having taken up residence on earth in 1898. Of course, Edmund and most babies born this year have parents who were born last century -- last millennium, in fact. But perhaps not too many have the heritage of a great-great-grandparent from the 1800s. Maybe more do than I realize.
The thing that strikes me for the first time is my imagined view of somebody in 1898, one of my grandmother's grandparents, holding her and gazing in wonderment like we all do. This person back then would have been born fairly early in the century just following the birth of our nation. They would have lived through the Civil War.
That's something I don't think about often, the connections between us beyond crafted words on paper or screen regarding history. We are living links to the past, making the histories we live.
Yep, quite a thing.