the past few days your beloved ‘manny’, uncle collin, has gotten some terrible stomach flu. he is so violently ill that we have quarantined him in his room and auntie evbeff has bleached all.the.things to protect us from the plague. which also means, i am home looking after you and i finally have a moment to sit and write, while ignoring the fact that i’m mildly nauseous because i refuse to be sick (it could just be psychological, or residue morning sickness from your baby brother).
let’s talk about baby ‘bruh-vah’ (your pronunciation) for a moment. first of all, he is causing me to bump into everything, people, trees, walls. watching me navigate through a crowded car park is comical as i have to sidle alongside cars and pray that i don’t set off alarms. even though i still have 3.5 months to go, i feel and look like i’m ready to pop. the reality is, a person of my short stature can’t look remotely proportioned when growing a human. at work, a beautiful colleague of mine is due in just a few short weeks and she is still gliding around the office like a swan on ice skates with a perfectly proportioned baby bump sitting pertly on top of her two long and lean legs, meanwile i look like an eggplant mated with a chipmunk, and then wore all the black lycra that american apparel can offer.
you already adore your little brother. each morning you excitedly wake us up chattering ‘baby, baby’ pulling up my top so you can kiss my round belly. for a while you thought everyone had a baby in their belly, but i think you’ve figured out (by my rapidly-expanding middle) that something extra special is happening to me.
i’m not going to lie, when we first found out we were having another boy, i was a bit disappointed – i was always excited for my first child to be a boy, but had decided it would really even things up to have a girl next. and not just a girl, but a quiet, peaceful, calm little girl who would sit on the couch for hours with me and read books. the operative word being CALM. because you my darling son, have a lot of….let’s call it, ‘enthusiasm for life’. and i guess i just wanted a yin, to your [YOU CAN POWER A CITY GRID OFF MY UNRELENTING ENERGY!] yang. but then your thoughtful papa, reminded me how wonderful this was going to be for you. a brother! only two years apart from you. that’s best friend material right there. and now i’m eager and excited to look over and see both of you climbing the walls together, and building furniture forts and knowing that you’ll always have a partner in crime. i’m less excited about the mess. and the noise. and the general mayhem, but that’s what unaccompanied trips to Belize are for. right?
you are going to be such a devoted and loving older brother. i already see how caring, kind and generous you are with other kids and i can’t WAIT to see those qualities manifest themselves around your sweet sibling. i snapped the below photo a few weeks ago. it shows how you like to sit on the couch with me – already protective and oh so sweet.
as i mentioned, auntie evbeff is here. she is teaching you all the things – how to properly apply mascara, and pattern mixing, and finding calm. many mornings you run into the living room, turn on your heel and stare at her in her makeshift bed on our giant couch and state ‘evbeff!’ like it’s a marching order. she patiently puts up with your antics, and it’s so nice to have someone around who empathizes with both the heart-meltingly cute, while also insanely annoying (and LOUD), morning routine that you have with your papa – like when dev grinds coffee beans and you both find it hilarious to harmonize (in your case, scream) along with the sound of the ALREADY VERY LOUD coffee grinder. hilarious. and totally annoying.
[this photo below was taken by your auntie evbeff. for your 16th birthday we're gonna blow it up huge and your friends can pin a tail on you or something.]
your father and i are both reasonably sociable (or at least we were until iPhones and netflix came along) but you take friendliness to the next, next level. you LOVE people. whenever we take you out you act like you’re running for mayor and you greet everyone – adults, babies, dogs. and not just with a quick hi, but accompanied with a giant smile and a big wave. if you had the vocabulary, i’m pretty sure you’d even comment on peoples good hair days. and when [some] people ignore you, because they are not ready for a charming 20 month old to be winning them over that early in the morning, you try again, with a louder and more insistent hello. and when they dare to make eye contact with you, you bedazzle with your grin and all the ovaries within a 2 mile radius simultaneously explode.
you also turn everything into a drum or a ‘ning ning’, and by ‘ning ning’ i mean a guitar. forks, straws, shampoo bottles – you swivel them around, hold them to your chest and start strumming while shaking your head side to side because you are FEELING the music you are making. just when i thought you couldn’t be more of a cliche heartbreaker you decide you’re gonna be a rockstar to boot. we’re all screwed.
you absolutely LOVE being ‘out-ffiiiide’ and you run up and down our street finding smooth stones, picking up sticks and petting the neighbors dogs. some of my favorite moments are sitting in our backyard and watching you as you run around barefoot and pants-less (duh) emulating the things you’ve seen us do – sweep the leaves, or make a whistle out of blades of grass. often, you climb onto your little four-wheeler, wave at us and yell out “bye bye, ohv (love) you!” and i am suddenly catapulted 15 years into the future when you’ll be saying the same thing with car keys in hand, and my heart cracks.
you’ve so seamlessly woven your little joyful spirit into the fabric of our hearts, and i marvel at how you single-handedly taught both your father and i what it really means to be a family. it all began with you my darling, and very soon we will be a family of four, and we will have to learn what that means and how to navigate airports and coffee shops and life in general, with not one, but two squirmy little ones. but a part of me knows we will figure it out, maybe not gracefully or with a whole lot of poise, but all the while with love and laughter and a hundred thousand kisses.