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Chet Baker is Twelve! His Present is Phoebe.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

It's been awhile. There's just something about a ten-day trip, putting 2010 miles on the Subaru, giving three book talks in three states, driving home in one 14-hour go, having one day to unpack, then driving two hours to the airport to pick up Phoebe (YAYYYYYY) after not having seen her for six months, while trying to pick up the house (forget actually cleaning it), getting a handle on Christmas prep (hoping there are still decent trees left on the lot), and shopping (gift certificates are so ehh)

that puts a crimp in the blogmuscle.

By popular demand, here is a video of Chet Baker's ecstatic reunion with his long-lost sister Phoebe, triumphantly returned from San Diego and then Panama. It happened on his TWELFTH BIRFDAY which was 12/12/16!! Oh!!

 She wakes him with a touch, he gets up, says a perfectly acceptable dog hello (in his view, at least), and jumps up to I am not crowing about this. I'm sending him KISS PHOEBE pictures as hard as I can. But The Bacon is a Mether's boy, and the great significance of this homecoming and the importance of supplying to his adoring fans a video of him smothering Phoebe with kisses is simply and sweetly lost on him. That's OK. He's Chet Baker. He's perfeck just as he is.

Fear not. She extracts lovin' from that dog pretty much all day long.

Witness the Boston Terrier Melt: 

No Boston terrier will leave a beloved person unkissed for long. That's his tongue, not hers, although the possibility that it's hers evokes a snort.

Chet is especially amorous at night. He brings his favorite bones to bed, chews a little while, then starts smoochin'. Some of our favorite times are around bedtime, when the kids come in, flop on the bed, and tell stories while Chet gnaws his bones and antlers, then smooches, then chews some more.

  Read whatever you want into his dreamy expression here. Adoration? Forbearance?  He's a blank slate. Also a shameless, newly turned 12, pink pot-bellied piglet.

 Bill captured this classic Homecoming Night shot of Phoebe, Chet and his dratted paparazzi. He's breaking the Third Wall with a look worthy of Jack Benny. Are you getting this, Daddeh? This is ridiculous. Click on the photo for full google-eye glory.

Liam and I drove up to Columbus to retrieve our Panama Princess on Monday, arriving home around midnight. She'd had a 7-hour layover in Miami (Thanks, American Airlines!) when she could have been home eating strawberries and arugula. Ah well, she's home. And it's so wonderful to have her home, here, safe, warm, sleeping a lot, eating all her favorite foods, watching Cupcake Wars and Catfish with Wiam.

On the way up, we stopped at The Anderson's, my favorite store of all. It has everything from bulk peanuts to flowerpots to bathmats to mini-recliners that I'm not going to buy for 6'1" Liam with his Size 12 shoes (on 12/12/16, Chet's 12th birfday!), no matter how he implores. He makes me laugh. I love love love roadtrips with lanky, hilarious Liam. 

There was nobody happier to see Phoebe than Liam, and nobody happier to see Liam than Phoebe. 

This perfect reunion was almost as overwhelming as her luggage. This is the sum total of her possessions for four months in Panama. I couldn't have done it so portably. 

But enough of luggage. I can't stop looking at the love. Phoebe was 3 1/2 when Liam came along. She was old enough to be ready to welcome him, to adopt him, to love him without jealousy and completely without reservation. By the time he was 4 months old, she told me she wanted to marry him. Without going into too much detail, I explained why that wasn't a very good idea, but I assured her that she could love him all her life.

And she does. And he loves her right back.

Phoebe's summer in San Diego, interning at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and her four months studying and traveling in Panama with a SIT (School of International Training) program, have given us back a changed person. She glows with newfound confidence, independence, and a glorious ferocity. Living, traveling, working and coping with bright, motivated, driven women from all over the U.S has bolstered her confidence in her own powers.  Having homestays with Panamanian families has given her perspective on just how privileged Americans are, and an empathy for the less fortunate that little else could. 

We are grateful and blessed.


Chet is spatchcocked so nicely in that one photo! and photos of Phoebe & Liam reuniting make me cry. Quit feeding that kid magic beans, he's tall enough now. Love your family :-)

Sucha bittersweet and tender time. I feel your well-deserved pride in Phoebe and it is marvelous to behold. Well done! I wish her so much happiness and joy in her life as she takes these first bold steps.

Well, that is just the perfect blog post for nudging me to embrace a bit of Christmas spirit. What a wonderful reunion all around! Phoebe's amazing experiences are what all of us parents hope for our kids, but my-oh-my, the joy of having her home!

Happiest twelfth birthday to Mr. Baker! I think he sprinted right by Phoebe to thank you for finding her and bringing her home to him. A perfect gift for all involved.

So wonderful on every level, thanks so much for sharing!

Well, wake Chet up from dreamland and shock and awe him with the presence of his beloved sister before his brain can completely coalesce around who where how why what the Dickens. Must go to Mether for reassurance, "Is she real or am I still dreaming? And thank you for bringing Phoebe home, Mether, from whom all good things emanate". Thanks for sharing your joy. Merry Christmas to you all!

Posted by Gail Spratley December 15, 2016 at 10:42 AM

Oh, I'm so happy for us all. Hooray for the homecoming queen, her brother and folks and pup. Phoebe's home. All my love, xom.

My girl beast does the same kind of melt, but she weighs 65 pounds so it is slightly more crushing. Goes without saying that this is a seated maneuver! Same dog/human adoration, though. She also does a sideways version on the couch, where she pretends she is going to next to me but oozes sideways into my lap.

Ditto Jacki Long: So wonderful on every level! The writing is its usual superb-ness! The photos are heart-warming and brings tears to my eyes. That brother-sister connection: what a gift! And glad Phoebe didn't keep pushing on marrying her little brother!! Thanks for sharing the love and Happy Twelfth Birthday, Mr. Chet Baker

A lovely blog worth waiting for - glad everyone is together for the holidays and Happy Birthday to Mr. Chet. I love Phoebe's purse!

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