“…If I could save time in a bottle
       The first thing that I’d like to do
       Is to save every day ’til eternity passes away
       Just to spend them with you…”

My grandson will only have one first birthday. Just one. The event, held just last weekend, gave rise to laughter, tears, and (of course), gratitude. It was a day of celebration, a time for “nachos”, and moment to remember.

It didn’t feel like a year. A check to the calendar though, confirmed 365 days had passed since I’d first uttered the hallowed phrase “Max Parker Bogart”. As such, 51 weeks post-bris, 11 months after the Pidyan Ha-ben, there we were in Greenvale, New York.

A sense of optimism consumes first birthday parties—more so, I suppose, when the child is the first born of first borns. Family and friends gather and, each, marveling at the mustard seed of a new generation, is anointed—at least for two hours—with child/like innocence.

I remember the ‘70s. There used to be an expression in football. “The road to the Super Bowl,” they professed, “Goes through Pittsburgh.” Quite simply, it meant that any team aspiring to “win it all” had to beat the Steelers. It was true.

In 2011, let it be said that the road to our family runs through Max. At this point in time he is not just the only baby on both sides of the family, but he is precious, flawless, and our standard bearer.

I tried remembering MY first born at one. So many years ago…until the ex reminded me…and the picture cleared. Whish! For an instant— there he stood: little Michael Bogart (in technicolor)! Beaming from a navy blue and white sailor suit, he had me telling friends “My son should be a model.” Then, again…WHISH! It was today again, and Ben’s Delicatessen. And there, cradled by a mass of Yankee fans, was Max.

       “…If I could make days last forever
       If words could make wishes come true
       I’d save every day like a treasure and then
       Again, I would spend them with you…”

I’ve a different angle now. At a party beyond perfection, I milled not as a married father, but a single granddad. With time’s perspective and a better lens, I opted not just to cherish the day, but to celebrate its moments.

Like seeing Max, serene as he was, refuse anyone’s arms but Lindsay’s…or joining as the family (with two notable exceptions), danced the Hora. (NO NAMES, PLEASE).

Like, too, the trivial, anecdotal “stuff”. Come Bar Mitzvah time, how I’ll impress attendants with:

…”Hey, Joe…remember how at Max’s party, when you first found out your wife put you on Facebook?”


“Mackenzie, remember how you and Danny ‘Fleisch’ were the first people at Max’s party?”

THE moment to remember, though…the image most ingrained, is one of Meredith and Michael together, holding Max. The candle’s lit; the crowd is singing, and four grandparents are watching. Each– Caryn, Sherry, Stuart and Bruce, was eyeing not the past, but the future.

(And one of them—again, NO NAMES, PLEASE—is thinking…maybe Max should be a model).

       “…If I had a box just for wishes
       And dreams that had never come true
       The box would be empty except for the memory
       Of how they were answered by you…”

                                                                Jim Croce

One Response to “TIME IN A BOTTLE”

  1. JS says:


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