By RICH FOLEY
It’s been quite awhile since there’s been any new additions to my family tree, but the latest branch promises to make up for that long gap. Baby Isaac, son of my niece Shannon and her husband David, was born in April and has been quickly making his mark upon the world.
His first gift from his great uncle Rich was a stuffed bear, probably not much of a surprise to regular readers of this column. Creatively named Isaac Bear, he stayed in my home for a few months before Baby Isaac’s arrival, giving him time to learn his duties under the tutelage of my own bears.
After Baby Isaac came home, I sent Isaac Bear on his way to his new home in College Station, Texas, texting a photo to Shannon so he wouldn’t be a complete stranger upon his arrival. I was kind of proud of the photo, featuring Isaac Bear poking his head out of a Priority Mail box addressed to Baby Isaac.
David later posted a Facebook photo of Isaac Bear with one of his paws on top of a sleeping Isaac, protecting him from harm. Shannon reported that Isaac Bear has his own chair near his namesake, making it easier to keep an eye on him.
I shared the photo on my Facebook account, getting several comments including one from a local businesswoman who said at first she thought it was one of my own baby photos. It could have been, except I’m not sure if color photography was around that long ago.
Isaac made a trip by air from Texas to Chicago before he was a month old. He was ten years younger than I was when I first flew on a plane. David posted a photo of Isaac taking a nap in flight.
I asked Shannon if airport security looked inside Isaac’s diaper before they allowed him to board the plane, but amazingly, they didn’t even ask her to unwrap the blanket he was bundled in for the trip. That’s more than a bit alarming, but everything went well and Mom, Dad and Isaac made a safe arrival.
Soon after, another Facebook post featured a photo of Isaac attending a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. That’s something I’ve never done.
Then, on Memorial Day, shortly before he turned two months old, I got to meet Isaac in person. Shannon and David brought him to Michigan (his second trip by plane, putting him one up on me) and Mom, Dad and Isaac made arrangements to have lunch with me on their journey.
Shannon had a local restaurant I frequent in mind for lunch, but they were closed for the holiday, as were all the others in town. Instead, we met in Pioneer and Isaac had the opportunity to meet his great uncle and charm the waitstaff as well. A good time was had by all.
Isaac, special young man that he is, brought along his own lunch in a bottle. We took turns holding him so everyone had a chance to eat. Shannon took a photo of me holding Isaac and I took several, including one of him enjoying his meal.
It’s fun seeing his latest adventures on Facebook. In early August, Shannon and David held a little celebration at a restaurant near their home. Management of the establishment put “Congrats Isaac Riggs” on their sign in front and posted a photo on their own Facebook page of Isaac, Shannon, David and what I assume are the restaurant managers standing in front of the sign.
Everyone is looking at the photographer except Isaac who is watching the sign behind him as if he’s checking out his name. He probably was. I commented that I was in my thirties before I got my name on a restaurant sign.
Last month, Isaac accompanied his mother to the Texas capital building in Austin as she made a trip as an advocate on behalf of the Texas Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Shannon, a speech pathologist, is vice president for social and governmental policy for the organization as well as owning her own practice. Isaac himself has some serious hearing issues, making him more than just a companion for the trip.
A Facebook post following the visit showed Isaac and Shannon inside the capital building under the dome, with a comment stating that Isaac had met a state senator, a representative and the Texas Medicaid director. I predict a great future for him. And since he already has his own internet domain name, he soon won’t be needing me to help with publicity. I’m sure he’ll be doing his own blogging any day now.