thank you

This eventful week has overshadowed anything else, so I have reported on little else.  The birth of a sweet little girl, with the same chubby cheeks that are so much a part of my genetic being, showing up on every newborn with even trace amounts of our ancestry… But it turns out this one has more in common with me than just my “oh my, I hung up on you again because my cheeks keep pressing buttons” or my “I can hardly see at all when I laugh because my cheeks cover my eyes”.  (Which by the way these are fully meant to be compliments, there is nothing quite so precious as the little cushions on the side of a babies face.  Nothing.)

In addition to those twisted spirals of DNA, I have the honor of sharing a name with this amazing little girl.  A compliment so large I have not been able to digest it entirely.  I can only think about it in quick spurts before my eyes well up and I have to move on.  I have hardly told a soul out of fear I will flush out my eyes in front of anyone around to witness.

As I sat in the hospital next to my slumbering sister-in-law, holding her heart in my hands, rocking her, watching the multitude of faces only a newborn can think up, the weight of this honor fell on me hard.  I opened her little palm and studied the creases.  I noticed the lines and traced them and retraced them, memorizing their pattern, and I think she quite liked it for she nodded off with a look of gentle contentment not unlike the face of her mothers.  They sighed in unison and tears formed in my eyes so big and wet I had to close them to make them slip back inside.

I am so honored that my brother and sister-in-law wanted me by their side as they experienced the most defining moment of their life’s span: The birth of their first child.  The night unfolded with unexpected twists, but a grace so strong it could be felt on every pore of my soul.  The love between these three hit me like a rock and I promise you, I was lucky to be there.  Birth is empowering.  My own boys birth was extraordinary.  But in the thick of it all, its such a tornado of emotion, you can hardly keep it all straight.  Having the eyes of an outsider was a gift I can never repay.  Thank you for letting me part of your story.  I am forever grateful.

All I know for sure is I take this whole auntie thing quite seriously.  If you have not noticed, I am surrounded in a house of boys, and while I rather like this set up, I have many secrets a girl may like to know too.  And I intend on passing them on to my three sweet nieces.  Welcome to the world, Soleil Mariah!

But, I promise.  We have done other things this week, while here by the salty sea.  

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There has been art camp and folk fest and swimming and sand castles.  Life is so full these days.  I feel like I am always running to catch them.  It is all I can do to just keep up.