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A day with Kayla, a night with Leonard

Leonard Cohen at the Rose Garden. The Daily Triplicate/Michele Thomas
Denise thanked me at least a dozen times but it wasn’t necessary. It was like buying her a bottle of fine wine for her birthday and then drinking half of it myself. Going to Leonard Cohen’s concert last week was a present for my best friend, and it turned out to be a gift for me too.

On my way to Portland Sunday afternoon I stopped in Salem just as my son was stringing the last Christmas lights across his roof. Later he held my granddaughter up high so she could carry on a family tradition. Kayla, at 13 months, looked like a big girl as she reached towards the top of the Christmas tree to put on the star. It reminded me of all the times this son, my youngest, was hoisted up to perform the very same ritual. I was grateful to be there to share the moment.

The next day I stayed when my son and daughter-in-law went to work. I worried a little that Kayla might not appreciate waking up to find her parents gone, but when I heard her stirring in her room and I walked in, she stood up in her crib and gave me a big grin. The rest of the day was full of grins and giggles, stories and hugs, songs and play. I changed her clothes and combed her hair. I made her breakfast and lunch.

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