oh, baby!

My fake niece lives in Texas. Although there’s no biological relationship (hence the “fake”), I’ve been friends with her mother since we were nine years old. We met in fourth grade in small town Ohio, becoming so close we considered each other sisters. Two years later, we both moved away but have stayed in contact for the sixteen years post-Ohio.

The little girl I call my fake niece was born last May; she was anticipated a little closer to my birthday but made her appearance a bit early. We don’t share a star sign, but we do share a birth month.

I was especially excited about her arrival because, since my brothers are so much younger than I, there’s no chance (I hope) of my having a real niece or nephew anytime soon. Not being ready to have my own child(ren), I’ve wished for a baby I could love and play with… and then give back to its parents.

I got to meet her when she was two months old. I never thought I would enjoy spending so much time with a baby, but I was obsessed. Tiny little hands! Tiny little fingers! Tiny little tears! I couldn’t put her down and I had to pick her up the second she whimpered. (I’m going to be such a sap of a parent.) Biological clock: ticking.

Well, not really – as much as I adore her, I still don’t want full-time responsibility for a human being. But it was wonderful to take time out of my life to fly to Texas and spend time with one of my best friends (who I hadn’t seen since her wedding in 2008), her husband, and their precious baby.

She’ll be a year old in May; when I saw her, she was just starting to smile, not yet babbling or sitting up or eating anything beyond milk. And now she has teeth and can sit and will be walking and talking before too long. I hate that I can only watch this from a distance, can only see the changes through Facebook pictures and phone calls.

It’s crazy to think that one of my best friends created a person and that it’s something most people do eventually. And it’s crazy to watch this little one grow up; as awe-inspiring as it is, I can’t even imagine if it were my own child… but that’s going to have to wait for a long, long while. I’ll settle for an awesome fake niece for now.

I’m participating in The Scintilla Project. Today’s prompt was “Write about spending time with a baby or child under the age of two. The challenge: if you’re a parent, do not talk about your own child.”

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