“I’m the big sister!” I had a shirt like that when my brother came home from the hospital so many years ago. I was so excited for his arrival. I remembering “practicing” with my cabbage patch dolls. Since that day twenty plus years ago, he has been better at me in everything: looks, sports, metabolism, and now fertility. In fact, I think the only I’m better at was being born first.
I am so thankful that my brother is better at fertility than me. He and his wife have the two most brilliant, beautiful children that have ever existed. (Hey, it’s my blog.) I can honestly say that these two tiny people changed my outlook on life. Before they were here, I wasn’t sure about children for me. I mean, yeah, they’re great and all, for other people, but not for us really.
And then he was born.
Five years ago, he was born and I haven’t been the same. I love that little boy so much that it’s physical, and I had never felt that way about anything before. Yes, yes, I love The Mr. But this is different. It’s deep, like way down in the gut, it’s primal, for lack of a better word. Like I would scale a mountain, swim to the depths, eat tuna fish or mashed potatoes. It’s deep people. I look at that little boy and see a tiny little nose that was my baby brother’s tiny little nose so many years ago. I see them together, father and son, and I got it. I get it now. THIS is life. HE is what it’s all about. And if I feel this way about this one tiny person that I didn’t make, then surely I can feel this way about a tiny person that I did make. So I was there, I was on board. I was “ready” (at some undetermined point in the future).
And then she was born.
Three years later, my niece came. Hold.the.phone.people! You mean to tell me that the feelings I had for this one little person can be more? I was not prepared for this. I knew I would love her unequivocally, but not this. Not in a way where I feel like my insides split open when I look at her, when I look at them together. Now THIS is what it’s all about. A tiny baby girl with her momma’s curls and daddy’s eyes learning to say “Bubba”. Be still my exploding heart. Get those two in a room with me, and the world falls away. It’s all right there, everything I need. And yes, I finally realized, everything I’ve ever wanted.
So thank you, my Bubba/future Uncle J, for being better at fertility. For teaching me that life is not about so many other things we try to make it about. For helping me understand that I do have a capacity to love that I didn’t know I possessed. Thank you for my niece and nephew.