Exhausted yet exhilarated, it’s good to be home. A wondrous weekend concluded, I am resting…’til the next one.

The pendulum swung east last Friday, and exiting La Guardia, nuzzling the “ziskeit” in the car seat, I spoke:
“He’s the straw that stirs the drink!”
“I like that expression!” said Meredith.
(Honorable man that I am, I confessed: “It’s Reggie Jackson’s line. Can’t believe you’ve never heard it.”)

There can be no greater joy than WATCHING a child-like innocence in a park.  Eyeing it all, Max ambled from swing to slide to teeter totter…smiling all the way. I’m thinking Meredith and I have been in three parks now with Max, (not counting the one upstate with coyotes; we went there Saturday; I didn’t leave the car).

Max loves the park. There wasn’t a time this weekend when in field goal range he didn’t announce it. (It sits, in fact, a block from the Great Neck Diner).  Me? I’d have been announcing the upcoming restaurant. Not my Max, though. He’s evolved.

“Later Max. We’ going to eat now.”

Nor is his growth limited to greenery. Most babies point to their body parts: “Where’s your mouth? “Where’s your nose?’ “Where are your ears?” Elementary!  Others, too, can “Make a muscle.”  Permit me to brag:  Max makes two.  (Big deal, you say? That’s two more than I’ve ever made—and I’m SIXTY-2). Yeah, he’s come a long way since New Year’s Eve—when all he did was stuff a nurf ball.

Ten weeks later, I see the change.

The kid eats avocados, for one. I’m not thrilled with this, of course. The next thing you know they’ll have him eating olives. Let it go, Meredith; he’s a Bogart.

And the kid dovens—on demand.

“Max, show me how you doven,” anyone may ask. Immediately, be he sitting or standing, his neck jerks down, as if in a Sholem Aleichem tale. And the crowd roars…and someone else says “Max, doven!”…and the crowd roars, and….

The kid cares about me, though. He showed it. (I’m not certain he knows who I am but he cares!). Consider:

It was last Friday. Done with the lunch, the swings, the teeter totter, it was nap time for all. Max took the crib, Meredith the bed and me? Worn from an early flight, I hugged the floor. Gladly.

It couldn’t have been an hour later, though. Not certain who woke up first, but it wasn’t me. What I do know is that, eyes closed, face in carpet, palm over forehead, I heard noise.  (It was Meredith).

“He’s OK, Max…Bruce, get up. Show Max you’re OK!”

Peering out I saw the wince of a child staring at some lug on the ground. He looked scared—puzzled at least.

“Get up Bruce.  You’re scaring him.”

Rising like the phoenix:  “I’m OK, Max.”

It was, clearly a weekend of fun and family, all set against an angelic child. All-but-speaking, he directs traffic and misses nothing. By Monday he heard his mother read stories (all of which she knew by heart), learned a grandfather loved Stooges, and yearned for more time with his “best friend ‘La la’”.

And he would have reminded me—as all the children do— he would have reinforced—as (from Michael the oldest through Lucy the youngest) they always do, that it is the time together that matters.

And that we can’t take time for granted.

That it moves too quickly.

But that if I’ve time to be with my children…and my grandchildren…and my family…that I am truly blessed.

And rich. And satisfied. And grateful.

And now, Max:  Let us doven.

For time.


  1. Caryn says:


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