Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gondola Babies

Disclaimer:
No, this post is not about giving birth aboard a gondola - although I have given the subject some thought. Anyone who has watched TV has seen numerous situations where a woman goes into labor in an unexpected place (funny how labor and childbirth seem to whiz by in fictitious pieces).

I don't expect that I will ever need to facilitate an on-gondola birthing procedure...but I have considered the possibility that I might need to turn around and row quickly towards the nearest public dock for an ambulance to pick up a mother in labor.
Thus far that hasn't happened, but ever-the-Boy-Scout: I am ready.

This post, my dear friends, is about babies in the gondola community.

 photo by Joe Gibbons

Two weeks ago, Providence gondola operator Marcello and his wife Bryna welcomed their daughter into the world.
She has since been described in every positive and beautiful way,
and will forever change their lives, and the lives of those around them.
 
There is nothing so sweet, so fresh, and so encouraging as the arrival of a beautiful baby into the world. 
Yes, they are messy (I sure was - just ask my mom).
Yes they are noisy - my daughter Isabella screamed through the entire state of Connecticut once. 
I will never forget it (and I think some folks in Connecticut won't either).
And yes, they require a lot of time and attention, but then everything that's truly worth it, does.

Babies remind us all of what really is important,
of how fragile our existence actually is,
and more than anything, they give us hope for the future,
and get us thinking about how we should be treating things for their future.
 
I awoke yesterday morning to an e-mail from Boston with photos.
The text read:

Hello Greg,
my new grandson John Pellagrino had his first rowing lesson last night.  
Ciao.  Joe Gibbons

Joe and his youngest "trainee".
 
As if the "theme of the day" hadn't made itself abundantly clear to me,
the next electronic message I received surely did.
 
Just after rowing a lunch cruise, I got a text from Stefano,
(the guy from "Marathon Man") saying:
Baby on the way.
 
and at 9:44pm, there was yet another angel in the world.
Elena JoAnne Anastasia was born last night,
weighing in at 5 pounds, 12 ounces, and 18 inches long.
 
My warmest congratulations go out to all the new parents and grandparents, whose lives have recently been changed.
 
Over the years I've been thrilled to see fellow gondoliers and their wives become new parents.
Our children remind us of our own beginnings.
They remind us of how much love is required in life.
We get the opportunity to relive childhood - vicariously through them.
They remind us that we leave a legacy,
and as they grow they become our closest friends,
and even one day return the favor by caring for us.
 
In the gondola world, we welcome them with on-the-water salutes,
we dress them up in stripes, and eventually take them out on the gondola.
They feed the ducks, take brochure photos, and eventually they row.
 
So here's a salute to those gondola babies - may we raise them well,
and may they one day represent us well.
 
 

1 comment:

Roney Santram said...

What a beautiful post. I can feel the pride as I read your words. I have been blessed with two gorgeous boys and there is nothing greater than to have a legacy to leave for your children.