It is Friday and the weather is changing. I am looking out the window and the sky is gray…a storm is due to hit today. But, in my nerd-style I would prefer to do a toss out to GOT line (which I have been reading these past few weeks) and say, “Winter is Coming.”
Last night, Aunt J texted me a link to her wedding pics. There were about 3 pics of me with her and Aunt A. My sisters, your aunts, are pretty nutty. I am the oldest and for probably a period of about 12 years I was way too cool to be bothered being a good big sister. I was young and pretty self-centered then. Aunt A, who is three years younger than me, always just wanted to tag along and hang with me. When we were really little we even dressed alike. As we got older, we really did look like twins. There was a time when she would borrow my car and run errands around town while I worked and people thought that they were waving hi to me. They would later say, “I saw you driving and you didn’t wave back.” They had seen your aunt. Unfortunately, because I was not the best big sister when I was young, your aunts and I aren’t as close as I would so very wish we could be. Your Grandma J and her sister were like that too…sad that we fall into those repetitive patterns if we aren’t careful and when we give up on people. Four, when it comes to family, never ever give up…family can be irritating and a miracle all at the same time. It is a shame that I don’t have that closeness with your aunts, and maybe, someday, we will get there. Luckily, I gained a sister with your dad’s sister, Aunt D. Sorry I got off topic a little there, but whether you remain an only child or you get a brother/sister, just know that family relationships are special and take work. So back to Aunt A. She is the mommy to your cousins E, M, and B. Her husband, your Uncle V, was a friend of mine when I was in 8th grade. He ended up dating my sister when we were all in high school and the rest is history. They are a rare, special couple that have been in one another’s lives for a very long time. Uncle V is a band director and a very, very good one at that. He and I knew each other through music. I hope that you will take up music too someday. It was a great experience and I think that I will try to play my trumpet at some point just to see if you respond to hearing it. I played trumpet, he played trombone, his brother is a professional drummer, Aunt A played French horn, Aunt J played saxophone, Grandpa M played clarinet, Grandma J played piano, Great-Grandma G played piano, and Great-Great-Great Grandpa Peters played fiddle which is probably still somewhere in Grandpa M’s house. Half of your genes are pretty musical. Anyway, Aunt A was also a singer and your cousin E is following in those footsteps. Aunt A is known for her fun party planning. She is very crafty and can sew great costumes. She and I still look more alike than we do with Aunt J. She used to work in the city and travel all over the place with her cool job in fashion. She gave that all up to be a mom and that has kept her crazy busy for years now. She has awesome ideas for fun things that kids like and I wish she would do a blog featuring all of the things she has done for parties, weddings, showers, and holidays. Her talents are completely impressive.
Now to your Aunt J. She is seven years younger than me and because of that age difference we were not that close as little kids. I was more a babysitter for her. Aunt J is a bundle of energy. When we were little kids Grandma J had things color coded for us. I was either red or blue. Aunt A was always pink and Aunt J was bright yellow. Aunt J represents that color perfectly. She has blonde hair and a bright personality that is like sunshine. She is always funny and finds ways to crack everyone in the family up, even if she sometimes…well, often times, uses naughty words. When she was little she had this crazy puffy hair that you could never comb flat. All of her baby pictures look like she stuck her finger in a light socket, and please Four, don’t do that…ever. She was a messy kid and loved to be naked as much as she could be. It was pretty funny when I would have my friends over and my little sister would strip her clothes off and run around bare-skinned yelling “naked baby”! Aunt J was always interested in science and nature. She was super into Space and even went to NASA Space Camp. Astronauts are her heroes. She also rescued an orphaned sparrow and raised him in our family room. She was the whole reason that cats ended up with my family when she forced Grandma J into getting her a kitten when she was in high school. She has an exciting job in the city and travels all over the country to really cool places. She, like Aunt A, is someone who plans huge events and knows how to get stuff done. You went to her wedding. You were a little itty biddy miracle growing in me when we were in the city to see Aunt J get married. She was very beautiful and it was a special weekend. Your Uncle J is a fun guy. They met when they were in college, but then they each went their own ways. It was years later that they reconnected and now Aunt J has herself a special stepson, your cousin E. Aunt J lives the furthest away of everyone in your family, even though it really isn’t that far. We are just lucky that so many people in your family are pretty close by. Even though both of your aunts are relatively near, I don’t get to see them that much. Usually I see them at holidays and birthdays, but now that I am resting at home and need to be by the hospital (just in case) I won’t be getting out to their houses this span of my pregnancy. I have invited them here, but it is rare to get visits from them. Usually they say how busy they are, but please notice Four, when “busy all the time” becomes an excuse, it still hurts to not be close to your family. I was a busy person, but I am so glad that I made time for your Great Grandma F when she was alive. I got out to visit her and help take care of her. I could have spent much, much more time doing that. I loved listening to her stories about life on the farm and when my dad was little. Please don’t take time and family for granted…time runs out too fast and family can too easily become acquaintances. There was a brief period of time when Aunt J lived with me at my house that I had before I met your dad. Those months with her are some of my favorite memories because I got to be in a role as her friend, which was something that I hadn’t experienced until then. Your Aunt J is cool and your cousins all have a blast when she spends time with them. Hopefully you will get to spend some time with her too.
Finally let’s talk about your dad’s sister, Aunt D. I knew that she and I would be great friends the very first time that I met her. She is the best! Your Aunt D has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever met. She is a giver. She gives even when she has so little herself. She is a truly sensitive soul and has a deep capacity for love, understanding, and patience. She isn’t married as I write this. Hopefully she will either get found by someone truly worthy of her warm love, or else she will make peace with being single and find ways of enriching her life doing things that make her happy and continue to let her grow and shine. Just so you know, kiddo, you don’t have to be married or connected to someone else to be happy and fulfilled. You need to be your own person and in tune with knowing yourself in order to have a full life. If someone else fits in with who you are in such that they enhance you, great….but just because you are independent doesn’t mean you are missing anything. Being a strong single person allows you a chance to reach your potential and know yourself at your core. “To thine own self, be true.” Okay, back to Aunt D. She is incredibly patient and strong. She loves all animals and if she was rich I bet she would give away most of her money helping animals and charities. She volunteers with shelter animals and has worked tirelessly to find loving homes for dogs and cats that desperately need them. Her dog Aries, who is very old and sick as I type this, has been her baby for many years. She feeds him better than she feeds herself and she would do anything to help him through his tough times. Aunt D is always there for family. She was with you, me, and your dad when we had to rush to the hospital so afraid that we were losing you. Even though she says that she has always leaned on the support of your dad, I honestly think it is quite the other way around. For as long as I have witnessed it, she is the rock and the glue that keeps the family strong. She has been there for your dad, me, and your grandparents through the good and the bad. She even tends the gravesite of your Great Grandma A who she was very close with. See, Four? I was close with my grandma and your dad and Aunt D were close with their grandma….I will get to how amazing Grandmas and Grandpas are later…because kiddo you have four of the very best and coolest who are so excited to meet you….just like your Aunt D is. I hope that you and Aunt D get to spend some quality time together just on your own. When your cousin E was little, I was with her a lot on my own. She and I have a great bond and I have such lovely memories of being there with her as she grew from a brand new baby to the young girl she is now. Your Grandpa M was an only child and had an aunt who he got to spend a lot of time with. His Aunt L would take him on trips and to museums and all kinds of special adventures that he still lights up talking about so many years later. Being an aunt and being able to have such an important role in a baby’s life is super special. I have no doubt that Aunt D will be all of that and more for you. She is crazy fun and fills her weekends with things to do and see. She volunteers, crafts, and explores all the unique things that are right around here. She can show you adventures that are different from what your dad and I, your grandparents, and your other family might do might do because she is that cool. Really, the moment I met her I knew she was great and I think you will feel that way too. Part of why I love your dad so much is because he blessed me with this awesome family I couldn’t have imagined for myself. Your Aunt D is a huge part of that happy world for me. She has seen all of how hard your dad and I have tired and prayed for you to come to us. And, when I thought that it was getting too hard and too scary for me and for your dad, she was there with her quiet, steady strength to support and help us push through. Your Aunt D has the honorable and valuable qualities in her character that I hope will rub off on you. Sadly, she doesn’t always see herself with the same admiration that I write about here. She, like me, has spent years and years being hard on herself. She, like me, can sometimes be sad and not see the rainbow through the rain. And because I see myself in her, I know that she, like me, will feel her heart burst when she first holds you and realizes that she is as cool as others have said and that her coolness will be a great asset to the little one who will look up at her and say Aunt. It isn’t everyday that a new family member comes along, and Aunt D is all about family. You are coming into some arms that are going to be there for you for as long as she can squeeze you…and Aunt D is pretty healthy except when she takes too big of a bite of chicken (but that is a story for her to tell you)….so expect her to be a big part of your life, kiddo and man you couldn’t be luckier!
So those are your three Aunts. They are all very different and very special in their own ways. You have this family that has shaped up to be pretty fun and I can only imagine how your light will enhance the atmosphere. I haven’t felt your little flutters today, kiddo…just because I am slacking’ on bedrest doesn’t let you off the hook…get to working out…let me feel you kick and flip so I know you are there.