I know your Mama and Dada love you a lot and probably write you letters in their head every night. But I’m your mad aunt and I am dying to meet you. By the time I lay eyes on you, you will be almost a year old and that thought makes me ache. Held by others, loved by others, recognising others and giving others your precious gurgles and smiles while far away I dream of you. As you can see, distance bothers me hugely, more so because I hate skype and refuse to be one of those mothers or aunts who forces kids to stand in front of a webcam and talk to pixelated faces that move in slow mo.
But your Mama arrived last night. I went to the airport to collect her and as she slowly turned the corner, all I saw was her belly. And right there in the middle of the airport I rushed to hug her and then promptly abandoned her and bent down to hug her bump. And right then I fell in love with you. Fortunately I remembered her swollen feet and rushed her into the car and got her home to a steaming hot meal. I sent SMS to all concerned on the way home (it was way past midnight) saying “The Eagle has landed”. And your G’pa promptly replied saying, “Wrong bird. We’re expecting a stork.” Yeah, you’ll learn, that your father gets his sense of humour from his father.
Anyway, this morning your cousins woke up delighted to see your Mama on their bed, dying to wake them up ( yes, at times your mother is more excitable than a 5 year old). The Bean sat up, cracked one eye open, grinned sleepily and said, “Where’s my baby Button?” and the sleepy Brat took a few minutes more only finally sitting up when I reminded him that Maami was carrying his baby Button in her belly. He wants you to be Robin to his Batman.
They’ve hugged you and kissed you before going to school and I can’t help but smile as I realise that a real live little baby lies inside mama’s tummy, soaking up the excitement and love, awaited by an entire family sitting on the edge of their chairs.
It is tradition to wear worn clothes for the first few days and I had put aside two outfits for you. A little red and white reindeer outfit of the Brat’s and a Winnie the Pooh onesie that the Bean wore. They come to you with love and luck and prayers and blessings. May they bless you with (selective!) traits that your cousins have. May you get the Brat’s loving, gentle disposition. May you get the Bean’s comic timing. May you get your Mummy’s absolute willlingness to try everything once and get up to all sorts of mischief. May you get your Daddy’s brilliant mind. And of course you have love from all of us.
I think what consoled me to some extent was seeing the Brat and the Bean hug your Mama and love her. Distance does make things difficult, yes, but when there is so much love, you survive it. They haven’t seen her since January and yet they hung on her every word and were unwilling to leave her and go to school. And I hope that when you come visiting us from the US you will enjoy our company and love your cousins right back. That you will not go nuts dealing with this mad aunt who won’t be able to stop cooing over you and kissing you…
God bless you baby Button…and hurry up - your family awaits you. So eagerly.