Here's another picture from our Christmas trip to see my grandparents. It was taken on the 19th, when Aletheia was 5 months and 16 days old.
When I look at photographs like this, I often think that someday Aletheia will be the great-grandmother in a picture someone else is taking, some future descendant that I may never know, or will know only as a very small child. Someday she'll cuddle with her grandkids, and then her great-grandkids. Someday all those children will know about me is what Aletheia can remember, and what she can put into words.
That's not a morbid thought. It's the way things go. This little girl will be the matriarch in her own family, at the end of a life full of her own dreams, loves, adventures. And marked by her owns fears, failures, and disappointments. None of us escape that. She will carry the story of our family forward, adding her own chapter. Maybe--who knows?--this blog will still be up, and she can drop by and re-read what her father wrote about her, and revisit the images from the first years of her life. I hope, kiddo, if you are reading this with your own grandkids far off in some future time, that you still have reason to smile as often as you did when you were a baby. I hope that your life has been more fulfilling than frustrating. And I hope that your mom and I propelled you into your future more than we held you back from what lay ahead. We had the very best of intentions.
(And isn't it weird to look at these images from a time you can't remember but that we will never forget?)