Do you know why today is better than any other day? Today I am an Aunt! I’ve never been an Aunt before, but late last night my brother and his beautiful wife welcomed a little baby boy into the world and all of a sudden, here he is.
Yesterday when I received the phone call that the baby was hours away from delivery, I had just given my three kids dinner and they sat up on the stools at the counter, as we waited for daddy to come home from work. I listened to my mom share the report and when I hung up I broke the news to my kiddos, quickly lunging towards the ground and throwing both my hands up in the air over my head in a ‘touchdown’ pose. My kids know this is my victory move and I yelled, “BABY BENNY IS ALMOST HERE!!! HE IS COMING!!!” really loudly, although my audience was just two feet away.
Elena, my two year old, covered her mouth with her hand, and then picking up on my mood yelled “I’m SO EXCITED!! BABIES ARE SO SPECIAL!! I’m SO EXCITED!!!!” She held her elbows to her side and started flapping her hands in her victory dance too.
Guy immediately said, “I hope he doesn’t cry too much.” Joey kept eating. Totally the most even-keeled of the bunch.
“You GUYS!”- I touched each one of their hands so they would put down their forks. “A BABY IS ON HIS WAY to our family!!” I beamed at them sincerely, and then prompted, “And what are babies….?
“A TREASURE!” yelled Elena.
Guy nodded his head in vigorous agreement.
“Well”, Joey contributed in five year old wisdom, “Not a pirate treasure- more like a boy or girl treasure.”
And I could hardly stand it. Every time we see a new baby I try to stop and tell my kids that babies are a special gift, and using words they understand I have told them repeatedly that babies are a treasure. Treasures are special rocks that Guy keeps in his pockets. Elena’s special blankie that she’s had since birth is her treasure. Treasures have value. But babies are the best treasure of all. And I’ve told them this because I am not going to chance that valuing life is only innate. I believe that appreciating life also has to be taught and if you’re going to teach it, you have to believe it. And living it starts with saying it.
So we call babies treasures, and we try to live as though we believe this. Not because it’s cute; because it’s true. More than anything I want my children to recognize the worth of every single person. I know I have spent far too much time judging people, and too little time ascribing worth to people. And as my children grow up the world will tell them that people are only worth what they have to offer you. The lie that people are only worth something as long as they serve you. To deserve attention they have to be the right nationality, the right look, the right size, the right age, the right mental capacity. But the truth is that every person is of great worth- simply because they are created. And babies are the most helpless, vulnerable, newest treasure of all.
Today we have a new treasure in our extended family. And I think about the soul that has entered this world. Everything is brand new. When I was a new mom, I thought about the little soul that I had, but I also thought a lot about feeding and burping and was he warm and was his color okay? And is he breathing? Still? Now? Still?
But now that I’m an aunt, I get to let his wonderful parents worry about burping, and I get to be in helpless awe and appreciation.
Last night, I put my three kids to bed before their cousin was born. I tucked my cuties in and told them that I would let them know about him tomorrow. And they are still sleeping now. I can hardly wait until they wake up. I will show them the cutest little picture of the cutest little baby.
We have been waiting for you, my nephew- James Bennett Blake!
We already treasure you.
We are so excited for your life.
(***and I should check with his mom, if it’s okay to post pictures, but when I do, I’ll put one up so you can see how adorable this little baby is!!!)