“God bless my Lucy, baby I love.
      Stand beside her, and guide her
      Through the night, with a light
      From above…”

You could have packed my bags yesterday, after that first half hour. You oould have called the cab and shipped me back to Cleveland. I love Stace and Jace, but the weekend had peaked. In a period of thirty minutes— I repeat—the weekend had peaked.

“Jason’s going to the corner. Do you mind watching Lucy while I lay down?”
(“Are you kidding me?” I thought. “Rest child, sleep, sleep….”)

She handed me, then, my Lucy Hannah.

It’s a funny thing about babies. You hold them; you study them harder than you ever did for a test. Still, you sense damn well that in spite of it all, they don’t know who the hell you are. THEN, in spite of it all, you speak to them, smile at them and even make faces, thinking YOU they’ll remember.

(At least that’s my MO).

I held this jewel. Eyes open, she stared smack dab at her glowing granddad. And I sang. (This too, is my MO). She wouldn’t know my face, I figured, but comfort and warmth she’d feel.

I don’t know where it came from, but right then and there an impromptu parody of “God Bless America” sprang from my lips. Moreover, in those first hours of the morning I knew full well they were going to her heart.

      “…From Ohio, to Indiana,
      Cross the bridge to…

I didn’t sing it once, by the way—nor twice. I sang for the half hour. Early on a Saturday, (I hadn’t had coffee), I worried not of the frog in my voice. (Have you HEARD my younger daughter sing? For that matter, have you SEEN the video of little Joey Goodman as his mother sang?)

I sang it in rounds; I sang with interjections: “Just the girls now…just the guys…” I just kept singing.

For the first time in our lives I was holding this pink crystal of joy and the only thing I didn’t want to do more than let her go was to see her cry. All I needed, that moment, was the wide-eyed stare of my little baby.

The clock ran out, of course. It always does.

“How’s she doing?” urged Jason, entering upstage. “She didn’t cry once,” I beamed.

Stacy emerged and together we shared the couch. Lingering, eyes on the prize, we planned the day.

I didn’t matter what we did—at all. I sat there quietly, contently. My grandaughter, you see, now knew me.

      “…God bless my Lucy,
      My baby girl….”

2 Responses to “EYES ON THE PRIZE”

  1. Caryn says:

    A joy to read. Thanks, Bruce….loved reading about your weekend.

  2. It’s too bad we don’t all have a mom like Joey Goodman’s!

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