A couple of May’s ago, the entire family crowded into a too-small waiting room at NYU Hospital, nail-biting and nervous chatting as if never something like birth had ever happened before. That’s how it is with birth. Special and beautiful and kind of awesome every single time. But this time in particular. Because this time, we had extra special affinity for this brand new human: our nephew.
I remember how the first time I held him he was so little. His hair felt like feathers. And when he cried he sort of snorted and it was the most lovely little sound. We talked about him with deep respect, almost awe. And we anticipated how someday he’d confront us with a glimmering look of recognition and call us by name.
So, on the occasion of the nephew’s Big 0-2, we pilgrimaged to New York to help him celebrate a day he’s too little to ever remember and we’re not so old to forget. There was much to celebrate, too. Two, of course. How he greeted us at the door with a giant gap-toothed smile. The way he called the occasion a “happy” and introduced us to all his new toys and we taught him little games and he played tug-of-war with my open arms. We ate Peking Duck and cupcakes and I quietly came to terms with the realization that even if I I’m never “Mommy,” I’ll still be thoroughly pleased to be this very cool kid’s piggy-back-dance party buddy and silly “Auntie ‘Oni.”