“Whole Family”


“My baby on ‘Angels Wings’ left room for this baby to take its place, to be born upon this earth. His day had come.”  Kim Gosselin

The sky was awash in all its morning’s glory.  Painted desert colors of turquoise, copper and shades of toast, rose with the  bright golden sun on a Saturday in July.   That day welcomed a new life into the world.  Our first-born son, Jayson, was dropped off at “Mrs. Doubtfire’s” house on our way to the hospital.  She would love him and keep him safe in her velvety English arms until I returned home.

My belly brimmed with a “big baby boy” ready to be delivered.  Even the doctors underestimated his weight by a pound or more.  After recovery, my husband wheeled me down to the nursery for a better glimpse of him.  There he was, beautiful in all his pink newborn splendor.  The nurses had placed him delicately in a clear bassinett between twin girls, each weighing exactly half his size.  I studied his dark, blue-green eyes while gently taking the small of my hand to smooth fine dark hair upon his head.   A prickly feeling, much like electricity flowed through my fingers the moment I touched his soft, infant skin.  Yes, he was mine all right.  I prayed all would be well like any mother would.

Justin Joe, was our baby’s given name, in part after his daddy.  He took to my breast with vigor, never leaving my side all through the night.  The third day we drove home from Chandler, Arizona, stopping to pick up Jayson who I had missed so very much!  He wasn’t sure what to make of the squirming life-force that hung from me, but he kissed his rosy cheek all the same.  “Grandma Joan” marveled at the size and strength of our new-born.  “He’s holding his neck up, he is,” she said, more than once.

We took our children home, settling all together on  top of our big bed.   Shades blocked the hot desert sun as we began to get accustomed to our new family unit of four.  Up until that point it had been just the three of us.  Before that day, we practiced a ritual of sorts.  Whenever “Daddy” was home, Gary lifted Jayson up with one arm while wrapping the other around me, squeezing him in between our home-made circle.  There, Jayson was snug as a bug.   Knocking our heads ever so gently, we repeating in unison, “Whole-Family.”  It sounded kind of corny, sing-song, and a bit lyrical, but  it was for our ears only.  Special to the three of us.

With a new baby brother in the house our family unit of three suddenly became a family unit of four.

“Whole Family…….”

My mother rocking her brand new grandson, Justin Joe, three days old. 7/19/88.

My mother rocking her brand new grandson, Justin Joe, three days old. 7/19/88.

"Whole Family" minus 'mom' who was taking the picture! 7/20/88.

“Whole Family” minus ‘mom’ who was taking the picture! 7/20/88.

Justin Joe, in his "Going Home" outfit.  Thee days old. 7/19/88

Justin Joe, in his “Going Home” outfit. Thee days old. 7/19/88

Newborn, Justin, a few hours after arrival.

Newborn, Justin, a few hours after arrival.

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