Thursday, April 12, 2012

Happy surreality

(This should have been put up months ago, sorry!)

January 20th I became an aunt for the first time. I am still a little bit boggled by the huge positive, gushy feelings I have regarding this.

Background: My brother and sister are twins, eleven years younger than me, and we only share a biological father. We have shared family history, but little shared personal history, if that makes sense. I have always loved them but we are not very close for many of the reasons listed in above. Not close but since the day they were born I would do anything for them.

My twin siblings came home from the hospital at about 5 days of age. I walked into the nursery (that was set up for one baby - no ultrasounds back then) where my stepmother was nursing my brother, and she told me to reach into the crib to pick up my sister. I was terrified: I was short, the crib side seemed so tall, my sister was so tiny. She was wearing a blue, terrycloth sleeper one piece. Though I have no memory of this, I am positive I was trembling in terror of dropping her, not knowing how to hold her. Yet I picked her up and was in awe.

Fast forward more years than I or my sister want to admit to and on Saturday, January 21st I stepped into her L&D recovery room, trembling again, deep inside, for very different reasons. The emotions running through me were and still are a little hard to put into words. It took a lot of control not to rip my nephew out of our father's arm because the desire to cradle him felt akin to what a mama bear feels toward protecting their young. Finally our father was able let go and I encircled my arms around Logan. It felt like magic and my heart seemed fuller, bigger, more complete.

A while later my brother was getting ready to leave. My sister asked if he wanted to hold the baby; he refused, saying he'd wait until the baby was older. I realized that perhaps my brother had never held a newborn before. This would never do. My sister laughed and made a joke about him waiting until Logan was 13. Firmly but with love, I told my brother that he was going to held him before he left. Moving him into a chair I placed the baby in his awkward arms. My brother looked like he was afraid to breathe. I assisted him into a more natural, relaxed way to hold the baby. It felt like the right thing to do, it felt important; I have no idea who it felt to my brother but I'm happy I did it.

Soon after that I left and could not help smiling, still surprised at how compelled I was to barrel my way into NYC, that I could not wait another minute longer before making this visit. The pull was so visceral, so all consuming and I never expected that. I have been showing off the pictures my sister posted on FB. My schedule makes visiting next to impossible and it is so frustrating. I also know the reality is that my sister and I quite different in many way, may differ on ideas about parenting, babies, everything, who cares. Not in the least. There is a new life in my family, a connection that I have waited to have for a very long time.

(It is almost three months since I wrote this and I have seen him once where I got to cuddle him for a lovely amount of time. I am still besotted.)