Monday, August 14, 2006

There's a new boy in town

It was about 16 hours of pain, anxiety and excitement. A baby one week overdue, making his complex and vacuum-assisted descent down the birth canal. Emotions ran high, and after what seemed like forever I was greeted with a high pitched scream. I cuddled him close, trying not to notice the blood stained floor, promising lots of delicious meals ahead full of exotic foods that his daddy loves. We had a "moment". And then, legs aching, mind twirling, heart soaring...I left.

Being an aunt of barely a week has already been a fantastic and fear filled experience. My sister's firstborn son has already proven to be much like her - warm, intense, loving and a little bit late. As a mom of a whole year, I hold back from delivering my expert advice , trying hard not to espouse the benefits of Lansinoh and perceived dangers of co-sleeping. They are doing great in their particular brand of expert parenting. My sister is a natural, having parented me on many ocassions from her passenger seat as a little but sometimes bigger sister. She intuits his needs and what works as if she has been doing this forever. She does not fear the worst - even in the face of a benign yet stressful visit to the pediatric ER. She has always had a sense that all will turn out okay, in sharp contrast to me who has asked my husband repeatedly if my daughter's bedroom can somehow fall off the side of our building from a gale of strong winds. She streamlines her accessories - a lone diaper placed in her purse amidst her wallet and lipstick with the hopes of locating some wipes. I have a diaper bag the size of a duffel with various emergency outfits and backup Cheerio stashes.

It's hard not to reflect back on my own experience caring for a newborn. My stint with the blues felt like forever but I am assured it was only a week. Those recollections haunt me, even today, as I was so unprepared to feel anything but bliss and was instead left with an hormonal yet overwhelming sense of impending doom. Caring for my nephew has already healed those memories, as it feels good to expertly change a newborn diaper without panic and soothe hysterical cries without questioning if I am cut out for this. And I watch my Chloe toddling about one year later, flourishing and perfect in my eyes, proof positive that I have done something right.

I am incredibly excited to watch my sister blossom as the best mom in her own definition. I know that I will learn alot from her, I always have.


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