At some point I'll take the chance to recap the awesomely bad series finale of Hidden Palms and rail against the injustice of Chuy getting cut from SYTYCD at least ten weeks too early, but right now I'm going to obnoxiously gush about my nephew, Julian. Because I can. And frequently do.
One of the coolest, most memorable experiences of my life was being at the hospital when Julian was born in October 2004. I held him when he was a little over two hours old and fell in love with him on the spot. I'd (geekily) made a message tee earlier that month that read 'Auntie Em' and wore it for the main event. I was living in Santa Cruz at the time so the hour and a half trek to Berkeley was nothing and I made it as many times as I could. My sister would thank me for the free childcare and I'd think, are you crazy? Thank you for letting me play with your baby for the night, weekend, etc. I'd voraciously print out pictures of him from her website and tape them up on my wall, I'd rock and sing him to sleep, and I quickly realized that being an aunt actually surpassed all of my extremely high expectations w/r/t the experience. As is maybe apparent, I'm a kid person. I've been watching them forever and I practically salivate at the sight of babies. One of the coolest, new things about being an aunt is that if your first impulse is wanting to hold a perfect stranger's baby, being around one that you always have permission to pick up is a little like crack.
As such I should've been thrilled when my sister announced she was pregnant again last Thanksgiving. But I wasn't. Instead, I was kinda apprehensive. My first thought wasn't 'oh great, a new baby!' but instead, 'what about Julian?' I was a little worried that I wasn't as ecstatic as I thought I would be (or should be) at the prospect of having a new little person around. Of course the more I got used to the idea, the more excited I became especially once we learned that 'Baby' was actually 'Baby Girl.'
Cut to Six Months Later:
Scarlett Lake, nee Baby Girl was born this past Wednesday during the midmorning of the holiday. She weighed in at 6 lbs. 14 oz. and possesses a full head of jet black hair. She's tiny and pink and gorgeous and you forget that a person can actually be that small. Holding her on the day of her birth, stroking her perfect fingers and toes, and staring into her big grey-blue eyes was such an awesome memorable experience. She and my sister are both doing very well which is everything we could've hoped for.
The very best part of the last few days though was, without a doubt, the time I got to spend with Julian. Making his breakfast, putting him to bed each night, playing at the park, reading stories and singing songs, hearing him say "Auntie Em" in his tiny, little toddler voice- there might be nothing in this world that I adore as much as I adore him.
Some highlights from the week include...
On baking a cake for Scarlett's arrival (as pictured above)-
Auntie Em: J, what are we doing?
J: Making a cake!
Auntie Em: Who's the cake for?
J: the baby?
Auntie Em: What's the baby's name?
J: I want some more delicious cake please!
J: What's Grandpa Rick doing?
Auntie Em: He's sleeping. And he's snoring.
J: *looks at Grandpa Rick and back at me* I want to read The Napping House now.
On noticing my red shoes-
J: Auntie Em has red shoes and Julian has red shoes too!
After a huge sip of agua fresca at Picante in Berkeley-
J: *rubs his tummy* then (exaggeratedly) Yum, yuuuuuum. *prolonged giggling*
On wearing me out-
J: I want Auntie Em to sit up and do another puzzle with me and do stickers too, please.
Which I immediately did. Who could possibly resist?