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Westward Ho-liday! St. Louis Baby Takes Colorado by Force

My family spent a great week together near the foot of the Rocky Mountains.

Micah had a ball visiting my family in Colorado over the Christmas holiday. And of course, everyone spoiled him.

On the afternoon of Dec. 16, we flew into Denver. Julie and I were impressed by our son, who fussed but for a few minutes before falling asleep on the plane ride.

The people we encountered along the way proved exceptionally friendly and helpful. We weren't even fazed by the Transportation Security Administration agent who curtly informed us that yes, strollers go onto the conveyor belt to be inspected, too.

(Chalk it up to a rough day at a busy time of year. The other agents smiled, helped us through and remarked on our son's innate cuteness.)

My parents picked us up at the airport. Earlier, Mom had spent time tracking down a car seat and a Pack 'n Play (what my sister, Anne, refers to as a baby cage) for sleeping. Dad helped us load our things into the van, and my wife got Micah situated in his seat.

We drove toward the beautiful mountains. Excuse my use of adjectives. It's just that it's true. They're grand, gorgeous, mysterious. At the time, they also were covered in snow.

Time then passed more quickly than I can fathom. On the next day, my brother, Adam, and his girlfriend, Jena, drove in from Nebraska, where they attend college.

For the first time, all of my siblings have significant others, and we would be meeting all of them.

I am the oldest of four, so of course my responsibility is to vet each thoroughly and pass along appropriate wisdom. Then, it's my hope that they will disregard everything I've said and do what's best for them.

Chad and his girlfriend, Heather, flew in from Phoenix on Monday and left with us on the return trip Christmas Eve. Anne lives at home, and her boyfriend, Patrick, dropped by on many occasions.

All are charming and funny. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. More really does make merrier.

During our stay, we had copious amounts of wonderful food, conversation and entertainment (thanks, Mom and Dad!), tons of delightful Christmas gifts and a wealth of family friends with whom to visit and reconnect.

Dad and I got to shovel after at least 1 foot of snow fell overnight Dec. 21.

We passed Micah from person to person. His mummum rocked him to sleep; his granddaddy tickled him until he laughed. His uncles made funny noises to get him grinning, and his aunt soothed him when he cried.

Along the way, we paid a trip to urgent care because the little guy experienced some upper respiratory congestion. Micah slept in our bed (normally a major no-no) for much of the trip because he wouldn't rest anywhere else. But he got plenty of naps with various people.

We made wonderful memories and wished we could see one another more often.

And we already are preparing for the next gathering, when Micah could be walking, talking or both.

Watch out, world.

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