I’ve been given a gift. It’s one with moving parts. His name is Bennett and he will be my companion for the next 9 weeks, pretty much 6 hours a day every day but Thursday mornings and Sundays.
Bennett Faller Catanach has been handed the torch (through his first name) to carry on the “Mabel and Charles Bennett” clan’s name in America. We have a few Clan Bennetts in the U.K. and a few in Australia, but here in the USA and in Canada all the Bennetts have died, some of them having taken on new names through marriage anyhow.
Bennett is only 2 months, old so he doesn’t know of this legacy, of course. (And it is largely symbolic in any event). But someday I’ll share with him where his name came from, and show him photos of the many Bennetts before him.
In the meantime, his world consists of eating from bottle and from breast, being swung to sleep, being wiped and creamed and re-diapered, and having an occasional lesson in the basics of baby (face, hands, nose, vowel sounds) from his caretakers. His crankiness, I think, is literally growing pains. He’s like a weed with flowers, lengthening and blossoming overnight.
At some point in the day as I watch him, every day, I think of New York City car alarms or smoke detectors that go off when you fry bacon. Once I clear out the pithy metaphors, I’m reminded that, when each of us is reduced to our essential selves, we are all of us crying for food and to be held.