I can’t remember if I mentioned it here, but JB’s brother and his wife had their first baby a few weeks ago. He’s named after his grandfather, and we mostly call him Little C.


It’s been exciting, waiting for Little C. to arrive. The day my sister-in-law went into labor I found myself texting Joe on regular intervals, asking intrusive questions I wasn’t entirely sure were appropriate. (I’m just saying, it seems like there’s a fine line between “How far is she dilated?” and “SAY, HOW BIG IS YER WIFE’S VAGINER-HOLE?”)

This past weekend was the first time I got to see Little C. in person. My oh my, he is a tiny little peanut.


There’s so much I’d forgotten about newborns. I mean, it’s kind of amazing—and maybe more than a little sad—how all sorts of details had simply disappeared from my memory banks. The instant I held him, though, it all came rushing back, and I marveled at the familiarity of it all. The way he would sort of gritch around in my arms before succumbing to sleep; the fragile-feeling way newborns have of being simultaneously floppy-loose and drawn into a ball; the heat waves he emanated, as though his entire future burned inside his tiny body like a sun.

I remembered, too, how life with a newborn is sectioned into nerve-wracking chunks: the baby is content/asleep and everything seems utterly peaceful and perfect, and then suddenly out of nowhere everything goes to hell. One minute you’re sitting around relaxing, feeling that warm drowsy weight in your arms, and the next moment you’re called into action like a drill sergeant is barking in your ear: GO SOLDIER GO GO GO.

I had sort of wondered if holding someone else’s baby would make me rethink my choice to be done having babies of my own, and I can tell you this right now: it did not. I was phenomenally relieved to be able to hand him over as soon as he’d worked himself into that furious red-faced sheep’s-baa state, for someone else to shoulder the burden of playing the Hungry, Needs Comfort, or Just Kinda Poopy? game.

Oh, but his presence in the world does make me wish more than ever that we weren’t so far away. I wish I could pop over for a visit, to take over the baby-grind so Alexa could go see a movie or just take a damn shower. I wish we were all sitting down to a big messy chaotic Sunday dinner on a regular basis. I wish my boys had the same access to their beloved grandparents that their new grandson will. I wish JB could see his brother more often. I wish I didn’t know firsthand how grown—how different—Little C. will be, the next time I get to see him.

Scavenger hunts, fishing, canoeing, water balloons, swimming, presents, cake, gorgeous weather, and a brand-new baby cousin. Oh, you guys: best birthday weekend ever.












Next Page →