Dear friends, I write with a smile on my face and joy in my heart as I share the wonderful news that in October of this year, I will become a first-time Aunt!!!!!!!!! That’s right folks, my favorite sister is pregnant! I have dreamed of this moment for a long time, but now that it’s here, I am suddenly nervous about all of the details! I mean, for starters, what do I want to be called? Aunt Amanda? Too much alliteration. Aunt Mandy? <vomit> Auntie — stop right there. The best I’ve been able to come up with is Aunt Manda, though even that seems to trip the tongue. My friend Sarah who is recently engaged shared that when she and Todd were dating, Todd’s sister would say to her kids, “Uncle Todd and Sarah,” which confused the kids into thinking that she was Uncle Sarah. I suppose that’s always a possibility… Uncle Manda sounds cooler, but get real, Manda… you’d like your niece/nephew to turn out relatively normal! So, Aunt Manda it is. At least, until my niecephew blabbers out some other hilarious nickname. I can’t wait until that day.
In the meantime, the countdown until mid-October continues. And lucky for me and my family, Erin has provided us with a weekly baby-to-food comparison. You see, most people would have relayed the exciting baby news in a normal fashion. You know…call up the fam and say, “Guess what? We’re pregnant!!” But for Erin, the bigger the ordeal, the bigger the creative process must be to share the ordeal. So, the morning after she found out she was pregnant, she woke up at 4am to create a calendar that lists foods that are the size of the fetus as her pregnancy advances. So for example, the first food listed is a poppyseed. A week later, it’s a sesame seed. A week later, it’s a lentil bean. You get the point. At precisely 7:56am, Erin emailed this online calendar to the immediate family. Subject title: A Way To Eat Your Way Through The Next Year. What were we supposed to think? Common reactions were, “That’s nice, Erin, but I don’t really get it. Is this some new diet you’re putting us on?” It required a follow up phone call and some urgency from Erin to alert us that this was no ordinary calendar. No! And just as it’s no ordinary sister that put the calendar together, I am aware that it will be no ordinary baby that arrives post-crenshaw melon!
At this moment in time, the baby is the size of a kidney bean. This may be the most normal food nickname we will encounter throughout the year, since it can conveniently be shortened to “kid.” I must tell you that I look forward to March when it is the size of a kumquat, April when it is the size of a medium shrimp, and July when it is the size of a Chinese cabbage. If I think I’ve got it bad as “Aunt Manda,” this poor “kid” will be born with over 20 food nicknames already at hand!
Erin called me early in the morning a couple of weeks ago to tell me that she had this wonderful dream that kidney bean was born and was like a little Amanda. That is the most terrifyingly sweet thing I’ve perhaps ever heard. And it makes me think more than twice about who I am and who I want to be. What does it take to be a cool aunt? Perhaps I need to begin collecting stickers and shiny things, brushing up on my knowledge of Saturday morning cartoons, and learning more poop jokes… whatever it is, I’m in search of it! And the days are running out and the foods are growing larger. Today a kidney bean, Sunday a grape. I say a special prayer for a growing child, that the kid will not be like it’s goofy Aunt Manda, but rather a reflection of the good in its beautiful parents!
Congratulations Erin and Keith!