Trying to live love well through the power of the Everlasting.
So today was a pretty big day, because the Kindle Fire that I bought with the Amazon gift card my parents got me came in. I had just enough time before work to turn it on, fiddle with it for a minute, and then plug it in to charge until I got back. After work was done, I was listening to a hockey game in the living room on it (proud member of the Sens Army here) and my family was huddled around while we tested the Kindle Fire’s performance. Thus it was that my sister, her husband, and their three children found us when they unexpectedly walked through the door.
We nearly died. Christmas had come and gone without us meeting our new nephew Levi, or seeing our sister and her family. We grudgingly accepted that we’d have to wait a few more months before we got to see everyone again, and then they walked through our door, here for the New Year’s weekend. It was… awesome. My nieces (twins!) are walking all over the place, and though their verbal vocabulary isn’t quite there, they’ve learned how to sign a rather impressive number of things, and being able to communicate with them is blowing my mind.
My sister looks great, as does my brother-in-law, and it’s great to see them again.
But of course, what I was the most excited about was meeting my new nephew, Levi. The little guy has a surprising ability to seize my heart, and it’s a feeling I just can’t get enough of. Of course, I didn’t get to see him much at first – grandma and the aunts are rather greedy when it comes to babies in this house – but I wasn’t too concerned, because I have a superpower:
I am *amazing* at handling babies.
Seriously, I’m awesome at it. I used to work at a resort where families would come and spend the week for their vacation, and every Sunday I would volunteer in the infant nursery during the chapel service. The workers would always be overrun with screaming babies, and I’d walk through the door and they’d say, “Oh thank God! Here – this one’s crying the worst, see what you can do!” I walk with them, cradle them close, sing to them softly, etc. and sure enough, without fail, the baby falls asleep.
It’s a gift.
There’s something about my body core (I’m like a furnace, it’s weird) and the way that babies can fit so neatly right into the nook of my neck and rest on my shoulder… something about it, it’s magic. I’ve never met a baby that I couldnt handle, and I’ve met a large amount of babies. Between the resort, working at a daycare in college, and having eight brothers and sisters… yeah, I’ve fine-tuned my gift a bit. I’m an exhausted parent’s secret weapon. Just get ’em to Ethan, and you’re home free.
So I was patient while Levi was passed around to everyone else, because I knew that soon enough I’d have him. And boy howdy*, was I right! For the better part of two hours tonight I had Levi, tucked up on my shoulder, sleeping soundly. The instant anyone tried to take him, well, no way. He’d wake up. Back to Ethan he went, and within a minute he’d be sleeping again. And as he slept on my chest, I watched his sisters playing on the floor and throwing beautiful glances my way every now and then. I felt ready to burst with the love I had for this little guy and his sisters. I was so thankful for family, for new beginnings, and for Papa’s faithfulness.
Across the room, my Kindle Fire lay quite forgotten. I couldn’t care less. When I finally handed the little guy off to my sister as he went to bed, I had a sweat stain on my shoulder that seeped through three shirts to the skin underneath, and there was a river of drool on my neck. I shrugged, wiped it casually off, and smiled. I don’t care if the kid soaks me to the bone, I’ll hold him any ol’ time his mom asks me.
I can’t think of a better way to bring in the new year than meeting my nephew.
*I’ve become obsessed with the 1960s TV show “The Big Valley” and I’m watching it constantly. I’ve kind of got an enormous crush on Heath Barkley, and he uses the phrase “boy howdy!” rather a lot. I’ve decided to shamelessly follow suit. Yes, I realize this makes me a dork. That’s okay though; I’m a single, gay, Christian 27 year old with no prospects of meeting an interested, single, gay, Christian guy anytime soon, so I’m fully embracing this TV crush.