A (Collective Noun) of Drouillards

So it’s 2012. Where are we at?

December was a crazy month. Your grandmother on your mother’s side, Annette, flew over mid-November to help us out with the day-to-day operation of being parents but in the last two weeks of the year she was joined by the rest of the family: her husband (your grandfather) Norman, and their two sons, Michael and Matthew (your uncles). The house got a bit crowded all of a sudden but in a good way. Pretty soon people were fighting over who got to hold you or rock you to sleep. The fights died off when it was time to change you, of course, but you can’t hold that against them.

The weather has been surprisingly warm this holiday season. Not sure why I mention that, other than that it’s unusual and made the trip easier simply because having –20 or worse outside generally doesn’t make life better for anyone. We spent Christmas with my parents and you received quite a few wonderful presents in the form of tree ornaments, toys and some very special books with touching inscriptions from both sides of the family.

The thing that struck me most about the trip was how loved you were by everyone on both sides of the family and the friends we introduced you to. I didn’t expect that. We don’t have a lot of young children in our family and out of my close friends I’m the first to become a parent. This was my first time seeing it…although is that even true? I have seen it before, this kind of love, but for some reason it was surprising and heart warming to see it happen so close to home.

Your grandfather Norman in particular was quite taken with you. There were plenty of early mornings when he would pace with you back and forth through the living room until you fell asleep on his chest and then he would settle with you in the rocking chair. You won’t remember this by the time you are able to read this letter but I will, and I want you to know how very much loved and wanted you are. Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture:

The holiday was like a magic trick that way. Lots of movement and lots of sound. With everyone in the house like that it was simultaneously like being back stage and front and center. And then one year passed into the next and in the early morning hours of January 1st your mother’s family left to get on a plane. I watched as your uncles, your grandparents, passed you between them, saying their goodbyes, kissing your cheeks and the top of your head. There were tears, of course. That’s just something that happens in this family, but they were the good kind. And then, as quickly as they had arrived, the holidays were over and it was just the three of us again. The dogs, equally mystified, have been wandering around the house looking for the visitors, wondering where they’ve gone and when they’re coming back.

Postscript: Just in case you’re wondering about your festive get-up in that picture, apparently it is the same set of clothes that your mother and her brothers were brought into the hospital in when they were little. You looked very cute and old timey if I do say so myself.