Topic: "Bilbo's Little Boy"(5)
The telephone call comes every year, and it always begins the same way. By now, Frodo actually believes that he has some memory of that Wednesday morning at 10:55 AM, when Bilbo birthed a baby. Frodo is able to respond with understanding when Bilbo remembers exactly every excruciating detail. Were Frodo Jewish, there is no doubt that this would enable the commencement of a lifetime of guilt. For the hobbit however, it is a good moment, one which he will truly miss the first time that that damned telephone fails to ring.
Bilbo was determined that opportunity would be there for Frodo, and that only he could put limits on his potential. There were frequent discussions between Frodo's parents about moving to a place with better schools, and greater diversity in those with whom he would associate as he grew. Bilbo was determined not to accept "second-best" for any of her children, regardless of sacrifice or cost. The goals were set very high, and Frodo knew early on that he would always be just below that which was expected.
Frodo's closest friends were always thrown up at him as examples. Legolas was the athlete, and Gimli received no grade that fell below the highest; and Frodo's best days were merely routine for his friends. Frodo tried harder and harder, and in the years that followed he could truly say that his limitations were his own, reflecting not at all upon a lack of resources or on luck itself. Still, he felt removed from Bilbo and his father, and he was never sure when to seek assistance.
Bilbo has been alone for many years now, and just recently was forced to leave her home in the warmth of the Arizona sun. Frodo is selling the house for Bilbo, and Bilbo knows depression beyond her wildest imagination. Age has colored many of her relationships, and many avoid contact because of a tendency to become argumentative, or insulting. It is a set of experiences Frodo wishes on no other, including even Dick Cheney.
Today, when the telephone rang, it was a conversation of times past, and it was good. There were neither words in anger, nor discussions of grievance. Rather, it was a dialogue about the cold hands of Doctor Porterfield and the blue blanket used to wrap her first-born. Frodo looked at the clock in his office, noting that it was exactly 10:55 AM.