July 26, 2016:

The baby is so well-behaved. He smiles, reaches for things, coos, sleeps. It's only during takeoff and landing that mom bounces him for precaution, and even then he laughs and seems delighted.

For a time he stares at me, complete attention, rapt, where even mom and grandmom remark. Then he reaches out, wants to grasp my lapel, wants to hold my finger, wants to touch me to understand me better.

In the morning we're rowmates again, and again he gazes, now upside-down in mom's lap, and again everyone comments. There's something familiar in me, to him. Something he wants to be close to.