I can now officially announce to the blogosphere and the world that I will, in a short few months, be an Aunt for the first time. My sister-in-law Lesya, along with her co-conspirator/husband Malcolm, are taking on the brave task of creating, incubating and eventually birthing the first grandchild from this branch of the Bonk family tree. This is exciting for many, many reasons. Let me elaborate on just a few.
1) Up until now, I have been lucky enough to be the “Aunt” to many fake nieces and nephews. Julian, Mya, Hudson, Ava, Milo and others. I squeeze them and love them up like a real Aunt would, but since they have real Aunts and Uncles of their own, I’m only a paltry substitute that will seem creepy and odd once they are old enough to realize that we have neither a marital nor a biological tie. Baby Oldcorn will be legally bound to call me Aunt and listen to me tell stories about how small they used to be. I plan to do as my beloved Aunts did for me. They made me see the importance of family (Aunt Doreen), the beauty of written correspondence and thoughtful gestures (Aunt Cath), the need for outrageous jewelry to show my personality (Aunt Denise), an appreciation for all animals (Aunt Pam). My Aunts have taught me that the best accessory is a gorgeous smile (Aunt Barb), an appreciation for nature and vegetarianism (Aunt Colleen) and how to be a strong willed woman in the midst of so many men (Aunt Bev). Along with Julie, Naomi and Joanne, I hope I can instill some of these same values into the life of Baby Oldcorn.
2) Lesya was born to be a mother. Lots of people have children, and loads of them turn out to be great parents after a little bit of practice. But after knowing Lesya well I’ve come to realize that she started practicing when she got her first dolly, and worked the kinks out when she was given a baby brother and then later a baby sister to use as guinea pigs for mothering experiments. I’ve seen her pick up babies with the most natural of movements, none of that petrified stiff-armed awkwardness that I have which makes parents nervous and they pass their children into my grasp. She spends her entire day working with other people’s children with the kind of love that makes me want to find a way to have my kids be students in her class, and she tends to her cats like only a true lover-of-all-life can. If I ever have kids, and it turns out practice does not make perfect, I will drop them off at Lesya’s house to be cared for and I’ll hire her as a mothering-skills tutor. She’s that good.
3) Dave is on a quest to be the perfect Uncle. And his excitement, shown through laughter, tears and fist pumping, at the news that his beloved older sister is expecting got him thinking about his odds of being the favorite Uncle. If you know Dave at all, and have bore witness to his child-like lust for life, you’d think he would be a shoe-in. But don’t be so sure. Malcolm has two brothers, Don and Ross, who match Dave’s child-likeness step-for-step. Baby Oldcorn, while not even yet born, has at least three and possibly more (get married already, Julie!) Uncles who like jumping on beds, food fights, backyard baseball, talking loudly, singing loudly, running wildly with no direction and general horseplay. Baby Oldcorn has three, if not more, Uncles who will take the duties of an Uncle (which include overfeeding and overstimulating) very seriously, and he or she will have a hard time choosing a favorite. Lucky for Baby Oldcorn though these Uncles also will never make him or her choose a favorite. If these Uncles were to tire out Baby Oldcorn (which they very well might), the Uncles will start roughhousing, singing and dancing with each other. Grown men with the hearts of Peter Pan.
4) Malcolm will be a father to be envied. Malcolm himself is a specimen of enthusiasm, and I can only imagine how this will manifest itself through fatherhood. Malcolm will raise a pacifist who isn’t afraid to sock a bully right between the eyes. Malcolm will raise a nerd who appreciates literature and a jock who loves to get dirty playing sports. Malcolm will teach his son or daughter to laugh loudly like you mean it, and they will mean it, because Malcolm finds a way to see all the humor that life puts before us. A child of Malcolm’s will be a homebody with a itch to travel, a girl or boy who can light up an entire room. Also, Malcolm’s a sturdy lad with thick black hair, perfect for breeding.
5) Bruce and Kathy will grandparent the shit out of that baby. Kathy were her doting, baking, loving, cuddling ways. Bruce with his playfulness, mysticism, free spirit and open heart. Together they will form a grandparent alliance that will rival all others, and Baby Oldcorn will schooled in the ways of life, golf, banana-bread-making and trigonometry.