Exhausted as I was from “The Music Man”’s run – nine shows in four weeks (a week off in the middle in which time I hit Chicago – and that having followed six weeks of five nights/rehearsal), New York was the perfect place to unwind:

Max, Eli, Meredith, Michael, and the rest of the whole fam damily! Respite.

Respite with agenda, I might add. Which is why I scheduled four days.

Touching bases and breaking bread can be an end to the means. Still, I wanted so much this trip to get to know Eli. At 1¾ years he is finding his stride and, absentee grandpa that I am, what with him walking now, beginning to talk now….it was just time.


There’s not a sweeter sound on earth than a toddler’s first splat of your name. “Poppa!” he exclaimed (perhaps without coaching). “Poppa”!

Like I said, he walks now (in five-step clumps, after which he steadies himself). And he climbs steps now (not that we don’t study each move). And he talks — here and there.

Delightfully following Max everywhere (not unlike, I should note, Hal, my brother, sixteen months my junior shadowed me lo those decades ago), he is reaching to a new level of life so endearing to watch.

Which brings me to the b’chor, Max Parker, still King Of The Castle.

(Ed. Note 1: Those who know me can attest that never do I shower people with pictures of my grandkids. Not my style. Far be it from me to be like some of these clowns that, when you see them thrust I-phones in your face saying “Have you seen Alissa’s this or Duncan’s that”? What I want to tell them is “Yeah, dipshit, you post on Facebook more than you flush the toilet”. Ah, but paragon of restraint that I am, I don’t).

Still: MY GRANDSON MAX has a vocabulary far transcending that of the typical four year-old. It’s hard not to brag. Others point to his even disposition and his smile. Me? I focus on his verbiage, his communication skills, his charm.

Ah, but I digress.

Eli Matthew Bogart is built like a third basemen. (This, as I look in the mirror, is a good thing). Moreover he has eyes wide open … bubbling … sparkling.

—And he was named for my mother. (Ed. Note 2: While I tend not to engage in the familial pre-natal baby-naming matrix, I can attest not a moment goes by that, seeing him I don’t image her). And not a visit passes that I don’t think of THAT, and well up.

It matters not whether we’re sitting in the Chappaqua Diner as he actively toys with pancakes, or whether it’s pre-bedtime and I’m perched reading Max, the toddler just sitting and watching…

Eli Matthew Bogart eyes the future and connects me to the past.

Could I go on a bit? Of course. Might I share about holding a two-month old Dillon in Scarsdale? (Jillian was there, but Matt had gone fishing). Could I ramble about Saturday night’s dinner with the adults (M, M, L, S, C, S — “No names, please”)? Of course. Might I even tell you how special it was that R and G stopped by? (Ed. Note 3: Gary Katz and I, of course, were brothers-in-arms, having served together separately at Ft. Sam Houston — and, after all, May 16 WAS Armed Forces Day).

Yes, I could go on and on, but I won’t. After all: I don’t want to be one of them…those people that brag on and on and flash pictures and all…

No…I’ll just stop here and smile.

(And think of my mother).

Leave a Reply