Family Dynamics

Then Love Walked In…In a Way

I had a totally different post in mind for today, but life happens and gets in the way of my grand plans to tell funny stories about why I should travel more, psychotropic drugs and ornery pets.

Like yesterday, I unexpectedly became an auntie. I say “unexpectedly” not because we didn’t know my sister was pregnant – sorry, no daytime soap story about an irresponsible teenager giving birth on a toilet here – but because she delivered two weeks early.

And boy is he a little cherub.

So I am bursting with love and all things soft and squishy, like baby cheeks. I want to nuzzle baby cheeks something fierce. I’ll have to wait until I can fly up this weekend though, so I am pretty much useless the rest of this week. I should probably just go home right now and watch I Love Lucy reruns, that’s how distracted I am.

No? I can’t abandon life and dream about tiny crocheted infant booties and the gentle weightlessness of a newborn in my arms?


Since that option is currently unavailable to me, I will give you a highly abridged and factually dubious play-by-play of my nephew’s birth story, as experienced from my perspective.*

*Dramatized for effect, of course, because I know of no other way to properly relate a story. Think Big Fish, without Ewan McGregor or any fish. Sad face.

9:21 PM, call from my Dad:

DAD: “So, your sister’s water just broke.”

ME: “Oh my! [long pause] That’s early!”

DAD: “Yeah. I know. We’re trying to figure out how your Mom’s going to get up there in time, this late at night. How do you book a flight at the last minute?”

ME: “Um, I’ve never done that before. Has she called the airline?”

DAD: “Yeah, but she only got through to someone from India who didn’t know anything about flights out of LAX.”

ME: “Hmm, maybe just show up at the airport counter and demand a ticket for the next flight out. That’s how it’s done in the movies. The movies don’t lie.”

DAD: “Your mother is thinking of driving.”

[Sounds of impending doom fill the air] [or maybe that’s the theme music to Plains, Trains and Automobiles in my head, I can’t tell at this point]

9:30 PM, call from Little Chip:


ME: “Hey. Dad just told me. How are they handling it?”

LITTLE CHIP: “Oh, Dad told you?” [sounding dejected]

“I thought I’d be the first to tell you the news.”

ME: “Oops. Well, I know…we’re going to be aunties soon!

So is it like a war zone there?”

[I am picturing the scene from the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy gives birth to Little Ricky, and big Ricky, Fred and Ethel totally lose it when Lucy announces “It’s time.” They bump into things, forget luggage, panic and ultimately forget Lucy in the melee. Clearly I watch too much television.]

LITTLE CHIP: “Yeah, pretty much the usual. Mom is trying to ignore Dad, because Dad is in denial.”

[Side note – my Dad has been in denial about the whole becoming a Pop-Pop thing since he first heard the news. Denial is a genetic trait in my family, like sarcasm and startlingly long legs.]

“He keeps saying things like, “The baby’s just going to have to wait to come out until we get there.”

ME: “Ooooh. Okay, well call me if the situation gets out of control.”

The Next Day

8:00 AM, call to Dad:

MOM: “Hello?”

ME: “Mom? Why are you answering Dad’s phone? Didn’t you get a flight out last night?”

MOM: “No, we drove all night. Your Dad’s asleep right now.”

ME: “You both drove all night? Have you been to the hospital yet? How’s it going?”

MOM: “Yes. She’s doing okay, hardly seems in labor at all. I’ll let you know when I find out anything.”

10:55 AM, text from Mom:

MOM: “Still the same. Won’t let her go past 2 PM.”

ME: “Before they c-section?? Isn’t that a little hasty?” [clearly I know nothing about hospital birth procedures]

MOM: “No. They will give her meds so it speeds up. Sheesh, drama queen, take a Xanax already.” [italics my embellishment]

1:20 PM, text to Mom:

ME: Any news?

2:05 PM, call to Mom:

ME: “How’s everything going?”

MOM: “The same.”

3:06 PM, text from Mom:

MOM: 10 cm.

ME: Pushing yet?

MOM: Soon.

5:01 PM, text from me:

ME: ???

5:37 PM, text from Mom:

MOM: He’s here!


5:48 PM, Mom sends pictures.


* * * fin * * *

Can you all see why I’m exhausted today? Waiting is no fool’s game. It takes courage and lots of caffeine, but I handled it like a champion.

No, actually I’m lying straight to your face. I was a bit of a mess. A gloppy mess of nerves, rather resembling a plate of spaghetti. And today, I’m feeling the aftereffects of so much excitement, like the day after Christmas when you’re too tired to play with your Red Rider BB Gun but you aren’t ready to go to sleep without it.

It’s not unreasonable to take a week off from work because you want to pinch baby cheeks, right? I don’t know if I’ll make it till Friday…

Can you believe this is the only picture of Lucy holding a baby on the internet? The only other one is where she brings the cheese on the airplane and pretends it’s a baby. Way to let a girl down, Google.


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