OK, so I’m not a babies person. I don’t coo over spit up and “oopsies!” about poopsies. I’m that girl testing different nail polishes at Target, hearing a kid throw down a tantrum, thinking “OH. See? It is so hard to raise kids. Now… should I do a hot pink for winter…” And if I catch a whiff of poopy diaper, I will gag. I literally have to breathe through my mouth and find the nearest exit. I’m almost gagging thinking about it.
But, I am deeply in love with my sister’s kids. And not just cuz they have my same coloring, and I hope they think I’m the “fun” Aunt someday.
No. It’s because my sister Les loves them so much. And I love her so much. And I can almost relive our own childhood through these new people. These very tiny people, named Hudson and (NKOTB) Hadley. I now have the complete set.
My sister’s in Baltimore… I’m in LA. It’s a weird thing to be so far away, for a big occasion. It all took place on my phone. Which made me feel all anxious. What was happening. Who was where. Why wasn’t my sister having a C-section and a martini instead of pushing a life-size human out of her lady bits. She’s known about this for 9 months! Plenty of time to plan ahead!
Les and I texted.
LES: “I’m all hooked up and Pitocin started… now the waiting game begins ;)” Labor was induced because Hadley was taking her sweet *** time, and my sister had a slight case of the gestational diabetes to consider.
ME: “OK you have to take a selfie for me.” She did. “Are you wearing makeup and earrings?”
LES: “Oh yes.”
ME: “Also you look skinny. The other Moms probably hate you.”
A little time passed and that was too long for me. I texted my Mom.
ME: “Why am I getting no updates from you!!!!!! ;)”
MOM: “I thought Les was texting you.” My Mom messaged me a photo of Les in the hospital bed and husband Heath sitting nearby. “She just had some Zofran for nausea.”
Then she texted this photo of herself and Heath’s Mom:
MOM: “No commiserating, just happened to dress alike today!” FINALLY, some details!
MOM: ”I left the room. Les is ready to push.” OK TOO MUCH DETAILS!
ME: “OMG, now I need the Zofran!”
My Mom messaged me a sound file of Hadley’s heartbeat, from earlier that morning. Totally surreal.
I waited by the phone. I pretended to do other things, but I was anxious. Ok, I did eat some popcorn. And I watched an episode of The Mindy Project. But why wasn’t anyone texting me!
A short time later, I got the BABY ON BOOB shot.
MOM: ”It’s a girl! Do not blog pictures Les says.”
ME: “I’m not a monster! What’s her name?”
MOM: “Hadley Kellen.” Kellen is a combo name involving our sister Kelly’s and my name. Really sweet.
Then there were more photos of Heath holding her, Les holding her, and Hudson finally arriving, after daycare: ME: “Did Hudson hold her?”
LES: “No – he barely got within 5 feet of her. Ha!” The sibling magic begins. (Come on, Hudson! By this point, I think I had already dropped my baby sister Les on her head, once or twice!)
I know most new mothers are up at all hours of the night, doing baby things. And I’ve heard some say that even amidst that kind of hallucinogenic exhaustion, those were some of the sweetest moments they shared with their child.
When Les first had Hudson, she and I played like a zillion rounds of Words With Friends on our phones, while she fed him, or rocked him. I would get notices at 3am that it was my turn to play a word: “MRSVINKSTER HAS NUDGED YOU. MAKE YOUR MOVE!”. East Coast or Pacific Time Zone — No matter! Suddenly our nighttime worlds were intertwined. Linked by my inability to spell anything worth more than 12 points…
Hadley was born late Wednesday afternoon. And last night I got a text from my sister at 3am.
I might not have the kid, but I have the best sister. And these are those sweet moments we get to share in the middle of the night, that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.