I found out I was going to be an aunt on February 12 of this year. It was a pretty special Friday around these parts because it was snowing quite heavily (a rare, RARE occurrence), I got to go home from work early, my brother and sister-in-law were in town, and Valentine's Day was just a few short days away.
Finding out I was going to be an aunt was one of the greatest surprises of my life. It was so unexpected and exciting. What's even sweeter is that the baby boy is expected to arrive on my grandmother's (and this one too) birthday!
Babies are pretty familiar to me. When I was 10 years old, my mom told me and my older brother that she was going to have a baby. Pretty crazy and totally unexpected; but exciting nonetheless. My mom told us this news on Christmas Eve 1992 and William Alexander (Alex) was born on March 4, 1993. (She could have been a bit more courteous and given me a little more time to prepare myself for giving up the "baby" status I enjoyed for ten long years. Having to relinquish this status was life changing, trust me.)
Then, just a short year later, we learned that my mom was again pregnant. Seriously, the thought of my parents making babies at this point in all of our lives is a bit disgusting, but I guess my dad's little swimmers hadn't lost any of their potential. (Too far?) So on May 6, 1994, Alex was just a 1 year and 2 months old, I at the tender age of 11, and my older brother at the extremely pubescent (I score a point for using this word, right?) age of 14, Victoria Marie, who my mother immediately assigned the moniker of "Molly" to, was born. Wait. Wait a sec. Victoria Marie? Molly? Victori...Moll??? Wait, what??? Ok, side note, I believe my mom had early onset craziness because she swears that Molly is a nickname for Marie. What.The.Fuck? Yes, that nonsense deserves an eff bomb.
Ok, that was all a side note to get here: I delivered Molly.
My dad came in my room at 5:00 a.m. that morning to tell me that mom had just had her first contraction and that he was going to run down to Piggly Wiggly (more affectionately known as 'the Pig') to get Alex some apple juice because he knew that we would probably be in the hospital with mom in labor all day and my grandmother was coming to keep him and we were all out of apple juice. (Sorry for all those tiny details, but they have a point, I promise.) So my dad leaves and I get up to go watch my mom in pain. (Sordid, I know. Don't' judge.)
The time element is important here, people, so I'll mention again that it was 5:00 a.m. when my dad came in my room. After watching my mom writhe in pain for a few minutes, I decided that I probably needed to be of some kind of assistance, so I followed my mom's directions and got some hot water. (Just kidding. Why do they always ask for that in the movies?) I got some towels and laid them down on the bed (because icky stuff was coming out. Sorry. Hope you're not eating whilst reading this.) At 5:11 Molly was crowning (i.e. her head was poking out of my mom's...well, you know where babies come from. If not, call me; I'll tell you), my mom was screaming, and Brad was calling 911. Dad? Still at the Pig. Me? Cool, calm, and collected, and a bit grossed out.
At 5:25, Molly's last little toe was out. I witnessed the entire thing; stood there, guiding her tiny little body safely into this world; bravely holding my mom's hand when she pushed. The paramedics and my dad walked in together, just in time to cut the umbilical cord. Alex slept through the whole thing and Brad stayed out of the way, not willing to witness his mother's girly parts and the subsequent excretions. (EWWW!!!)
The newspaper wrote a front page, Sunday paper story on my family. And I felt famous. But what was more important is that I had a new baby brother AND sister. At that point, I wasn't quite sure how - and that - those two little kids would change my life. But they did - in a huge way. Looking back, I have no idea how I lived without them for those ten, eleven years. We are all each other's rocks; the four of us just make sense together. Those Baker kids.
And then Sally joined the pack when she married Brad and we became five. She had to learn us; but it didn't take her too long, or us. She fit in nicely.
And soon we will be six. Little Baby Baker will arrive and our pack, us Baker kids, will welcome him effortlessly. And he'll learn "us" and we'll shape him. And thank goodness, he'll never have to know what life is like without a fellow Baker kid, thank goodness.
We're a pack; and we stick together.
(Maybe I should have given up parenthesis for lent. Agreed?)