Scholars believe Homer penned his epic poem, The Odyssey, near the end of the 8th century BC, somewhere in Ionia, which was the Greek coastal region of what is now Turkey.
I’ve been experiencing my own odyssey this week, though it’s certainly not as epic as Homer’s. Trevor and Eleanor, my step-son and his wife, are visiting with us in Istanbul. Babysitting their son, William, our family’s first grandchild, is more déja vu than epic — like a dream you recall from a life long past.
Babies change things. When I was birthing my own, I didn’t realize how much. Becoming a mother taught me my limitations. Before motherhood, I really didn’t think I had any.
It starts right away — that hard lesson on limitations. Listening to Eleanor recount her pregnancy and birth experience brought memories of my own first pregnancy. The 26-year-old, former college athlete who had always had total control over her body suddenly had next to none.
The eagerly awaited bundle of joy is, in fact, a mesmerizing miracle, but the little human is also an eating, peeing and pooping machine! Wish I owned a share of Google stock for every diaper I’ve ever changed.
William, son of Trevor, son of John, is a child of the 21st Century. Surrounded by technology, he already knows how to make the screen change on a smartphone and loves to listen to music on said device. He gladly smiles for photo ops — selfies are particularly appealing as there’s a baby smiling back. Not even a year old and he’s traveled to more countries than I had as a working adult. No surprise the bambino is on-the-go. It’s in his DNA.
Hitching a ride in his Snugli to go perambulating does seem to be William’s favorite activity. Although taking a nap with Papa is pretty dreamy.
After strolling around with the little tyke all week, it’s easy to understand why he enjoys wandering so much. He’s a people magnet! He draws them like bees to honey. In Istanbul, the blue-eyed baby boy elicits the Islamic equivalent of “God be with him” from total strangers.
Baby magic is universal. The whole world loves a happy baby. Our little William is just that — a happy, happy baby. Life on the road doesn’t get any better than his sweet smile.