Honestly, I can hardly talk about it because I am so damn emotional and sleep deprived, but he is named (middle name) after my favorite grandfather, who passed away ten years ago and who I miss deeply and think of so often. When my brother called me from the hospital and I heard my new nephew's name for the first time (everything was a secret!), I was overcome with emotion. I instantly felt some powerful mix of gratitude and relief that my grandfather's life will be remembered and somehow continued. I will always be thankful they chose that name.
He's here! It's such a miracle - we have been waiting so long for this baby. Longer than we even know. I can't wait to see him and hold him and smell him. To let him melt into my arms. To start teaching him the things he needs to know to get by in this world, things only an Auntie can teach. I can't believe I have two nephews! Two! One for each hand.
All day I've been catching myself thinking: two. Two babies to love. My heart is flooding. I'm so grateful, grateful, grateful.
I have been watching my oldest nephew since my brother and SIL left for the hospital at 2:00 this morning. So awesome to get so much solid time with him. He got up at 7:00 AM and cracked his bedroom door and waited. Still in my PJs, I went from my room to his and said, "Honey, your Mommy and Daddy are at the hospital getting the baby!" He thought about it for a minute and then said, "I want to watch cartoons." So we did.
We played trucks and danced a little and cuddled in front of the TV. I have a theory that it's because I'm a little squishier than some, but he loves to get right up in my grill, push against me and nest right into my chest. He always has. I just rub his little baby bird hair or gently scratch his back and he relaxes right into me. We watched cartoons, ate, and played around the house until it was so late I couldn't further justify not showering. But . . . how to shower with a 2 1/2 year old in the house? I have to say I think I got a tiny, tiny taste of the stay at home Mom life today, and it is exhausting. Responding to every high and low (are all two-year olds like bipolar heroin addicts who have gone off their meds?), answering every request, tracking his every move. Just trying to interpret the half-English, half-Latvian he seems to speak takes almost everything I have in me. I hadn't slept in a couple days waiting for baby, but I felt like I hadn't slept in years.
Finally I decided I must, so I ran upstairs and stood in the shower for just over one minute with the water running on me. No time for soap. I left the door open, the curtain only half-drawn, and had one eyeball on the nephew, running laps in the hallway, the entire time. An hour or so later I sensed a window of opportunity while he was preoccupied with a toy train, so I brushed my hair. After that I really wanted to dry my hair so I tried to turn it into a game (Come! Watch! Auntie! Mimi! Dry! Her! Hair!) and by the time my hair was dry and he'd ripped a roll of toilet paper to shit with my hair clip, I was so proud of myself for being dressed and semi-presentable while taking care of a two-year old that I couldn't think of any other way to celebrate than look in the mirror and cry.
At about 12:30 or so I realized I was terribly hungry and didn't know why. We'd spent a lot of time this morning making English muffins and getting yogurt out. Then I remembered that I never actually ate breakfast - everything I tried to fix for myself he ended up wanting (even though he had his own, of course), so I just gave it all to him, happy that he was actually eating. Is this a secret Mom diet?
Early this afternoon we went to the park to try to burn off some energy in hopes of a great nap. Because I'm always nervous and afraid of losing or breaking him while his parents are away, I generally stay one centimeter away from him at all times when we're out of the house. But this particular park is small and enclosed, and we were the only people there, so when we hit the entrance he took off running. Besides a little time climbing together, for the most part he played alone while I swung on the swings, crying grateful tears over my new nephew and answering calls of, "Watch me, Mimi! Ok?" He talked to himself (and make-believe companions) in elaborate ways, running from monsters (yelling, "Go away, Monsters!"), and telling stories about his Daddy and his grandparents. On the tire swing at one point he told me, "My Daddy says if I hold on tight I won't get hurt." That's right, honey. Your Daddy is right.
By dinner I felt a little more grounded and we actually had a pretty good meal without major interruptions. (I was beginning to wise up to the myriad of games he plays, and became a little more functional in my exhaustion.) A quick outing, more cartoons (sorry, Mom and Dad), some cuddling, and then prayers and bed. There. That wasn't too hard, was it? Today was 200 hours long, right?
One thing I want to remember is what a comfort my brother and SIL's place is, and how amazing they are. (Hint: amazing enough that I'm calmed by their personalities, their solid parenting, and comforting touches even when they're not here.) Their house isn't overly fancy, but it's orderly and comfortable and perfect. Their kitchen is always full of yummy homemade treats; I'll never understand how this happens. They have actual food in the pantry (I know) and so far I haven't found anything with four layers of green fur in the fridge. Not that I would know anything about that. And not only is their house a testament to the fact that they function well and live adult lives, but they are both teachers, so they actually teach others how to function well and live adult lives. Compared to them I live as though I was raised by wolves. They are amazing to me. I couldn't be prouder.
I've felt and experienced so many new things today. I want to record more, but I can hardly remember my name right now. Also, I know I need to get to bed because I'm terrified thinking about how early he could wake up tomorrow.
Ok, one more: as I've been writing this in the living room downstairs, my little lovebug woke up from an apparent nightmare upstairs. I have no problem usually letting kids cry it out a bit, but this was a different kind of cry. I ran up to his room, knelt by his bed, and scooped him up in my arms. He was crying so hard, hot and confused, and I just rocked him back and forth a few times, kissed his face, and whispered that he was just fine. He never really woke up, just slid back into bed and pulled his blankies close. He's sleeping again now.
Grateful, grateful, grateful.