My brother sent me this photo this afternoon and I love it. I'd love it if I wasn't even attached to it. The photographer caught the souls of everyone in it.
It happens to be my brother's son - Alex - and his wife, Jen and their daughters ages 2 and 6. Alex is a psychologist and I think his wife does work in that same field. They live outside Boston.
Alex was born in San Diego and when he was 18 months old, his baby brother was born. My Mom flew from North Carolina to San Diego to get Alex and give his parents some alone time with the new baby. I lived in Charlotte not far from the airport so Daddy picked them up at the airport and brought them to my house before the 2 hour drive to their house. Alex was in an adorable sailor suit and remarkably calm for being away from his mom and having flown across country and being in a totally new place with new adults.
Until Mom went to pee. She left him in the living room with us and went down the hall to the bathroom. And OMG he went ballistic. He cried and cried and finally wrangled out of Daddy's hold and ran down the hallway screaming something that sounded like MONKEY!!!!! MOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNKKKKKEYYYY!! He finally stopped when she flushed and opened the door.
We honestly had no idea what he was saying but he stopped the minute he saw her again.
And... so... from that day forward, through 5 grandchildren, until the day she died and really even still now, my Mom was known as Monkey.
Cut to a few years later. Daddy corralled us all and took us to the Caribbean on a vacation celebrating something... their 40th anniversary maybe? Anyway, one night Matthew (Alex's little brother) was riding on Daddy's shoulders and got scared and started screaming for Monkey. You could hear him all over the resort.
The next day, everyone we ran into kindly asked us 'Did your little boy ever find his monkey?'
One of the last trips Monkey ever took was to Alex and Jen's wedding. She had a ball.