I’ve never been too baby crazy. There’s that moment when a co-worker or a cousin walks into a room with their new baby, and all the women flock to the stroller as if the little creature bundled up like a pooping Christmas present, is the most incredible thing to be brought to earth. I’m the girl that’s still at her desk, in the corner…on the way to the bathroom. Anything to avoid having to say ‘oooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh’ in falsetto while trying not to cringe at the fact that, to me, most babies look like a cross between a Pit-bull, and a creature from another planet.
Moms’ – try not to get angry with me. I am the oldest child of seven kids. My experience with motherhood began at the age of five, when I started helping my mother change, cloth, hold, burp, feed and bathe my siblings as one-by-one they arrived to steal my thunder. I know more about fevers, washing sheets in the middle of the night because ‘a certain little someone’ has wet the bed AGAIN, bruises, blueberry stains, grade one homework assignments – and how make macaroni art for mothers day…than anybody I have ever met in my life!
By the age of seventeen, I officially retired from motherhood, opting out instead for a big city, an expensive degree…and dogs. While dogs do remain children for the entirety of their lives – once you convince them to do their business outside, play with their toys, and cuddle during romantic comedies and scary movies – you’re kind of golden! Sure, there’s the odd ear infection or skunk mishap, but ‘once in a blue moon’ emergencies are much easier to manage than the day to day grind of falling apart at the seams.
At the age of 30 – I was living a content, kid free life. I was a hipster. I was career driven. I was having dinner with my politically savvy crew and commenting on the state of communal, national and global policies. I was sure of myself.
That is, until my nephew was born.
On the morning of May 17th, 2012 – I became a ‘ooooooooooooh’ girl. Suddenly this child, this beautiful king of a boy, was the most beautiful being to ever be placed in a basinet. When my exhausted sister handed him to me to hold, I can’t lie – I considered running. “Let’s get outta here”, I thought. “I’ll show you the world, teach you to skate – we’ll go to Paris and drink…breast milk?”.
Hunter Benjamin Lloyd – changed everything. Now, I can’t walk into a store without heading straight for the children’s section. I find myself re-reading children’s books in the library – making lists as to which books I need to read to him and in which order. When I miss him, I find myself curled up with the dogs in tears over ‘The Brave Little Toaster”. My usual two hours daily spent with my nose in op-ed pieces and obscure books of poetry – have been re-delegated to researching the best stock options for education funds. My nephew is about to turn 1, and I’m debating whether or not I should get him a guitar…it’s out of control! I need intervention! I am an aunt-a-holic!
I’ve also – become a bit of a know-it-all. Suddenly, I’m lecturing my sister on the need to eat organic, the dangers of red meat, the importance of omega-3’s (I hope you’re all taking your omega-3’s), why she should take garlic on a daily basis…and why she should avoid bottled water at all costs (who REALLY knows where that water comes from). My sister is a patient one, and in the meantime – I’m working on it.
Hunter is a baby. He’s just learning how new, and colorful, and exciting the world is. Seeing it all through his eyes absolutely amazes me! When he had juice for the first time, his face lit up like a Christmas tree. He’s learning the brilliance of Prince, the funny feel of wind against your eye lids, the crunch of a fall leaf in your hand…and how much fun it is to drink out of the dog bowl.
So, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. My nephews’ farts could clear Carnegie Hall, and when he cries, it’s as if him and Hank Williams sat around and shared their stories of heart -ache.
But I can’t imagine it would be possible to love anyone, or anything more in life. This is it. This is what love looks like. It looks like my nephews’ chubby cheeks, and diaper rash, and the site of his stubbornness as he tries, tries again at putting one foot in front of the other.
It’s incredible – And I never (never) thought I’d say this…but I can’t wait to add motherhood to my resume.