The next day Dominic takes us to Capitol Hill, his old neighborhood before he had a wife and son. We push baby Caden in his stroller on this bright spring day. We stroll through a farmer's market and taste cheeses and fruit. We walk along the streets and Dominic goes inside a shop to buy us special coffee. I hold my tiny grandson tight against me, wrapping my jacket around him in the chilly wind. A street musician plays a couple of children's songs just for Caden. Liana is soaking up the atmosphere, snapping dozens of pictures. She is unusually quiet, maybe like me, she is caught up in the magic. Later, Caden sleeps on my shoulder as we enjoy lunch at Chipolte and then I feed him his milk under a magnolia tree with shiny leaves as we drink real ginger ale that Dominic got for us. Caden will not remember this day, but I will--always.
And the day is not over. That evening Dominic and Liana prepare dinner while I soothe Caden after his busy outing to the city. Daylight is fading and Dominic puts on some music that adds to the tender moments of the day. Caden is in my arms and I dance with him across the polished hardwood floors. Tears come as I think about tomorrow and saying good-bye to this sweet baby boy with the big blue eyes. He will be so changed when I see him again. I'm reminded of a Longfellow poem. This night is a song and all the cares of the world slip away as I dance with my grandson. There is peace in this house.
"Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away."
Dominic and Liana present us with a feast--risotto cakes stuffed with leeks and bacon and mozzarella cheese, fresh green beans from the market we visited today, cucumber salad. Stacia takes her baby so he can have his own feast, and then Caden sits peacefully on his mother's lap and I look around the table, wanting to hold this little family and this day in my heart forever.
Someone once told me that every place you visit leaves a mark on your soul and you will never be the same. Your eyes and your mind are filled with new sights and sounds and you are forever changed. It's true. I'm grateful for this weekend.