Holy CRAP! I REALLY AM going to be an UNCLE!

This past Sunday my mom and my sister’s mother-in-law planned a mini baby shower for just the family so that my sister could get a jump start on all the things she needs for the babies.  Since Beth was put on bed rest so early, they had to cancel the plans for a big, all-out shower with family and all of her friends because there was simply no way she could attend it.

But as the days and months went on, Beth suddenly realized that she needed those things.  Baby clothes, baby towels, blankets, bibs, bassinets, bowls, bottles… everything in twos (or more), and just about anything and everything else that starts with the letter “B” and then some.

So the Grandmas went into full panic mode, which means they calmly contacted all of our cousins and my brother-in-law’s cousins and family and got the word out that a “mini” shower would be held at my Beth and Geoff’s house.  Thankfully, everyone came through with flying colors.

Now usually baby showers aren’t my thing.  I may be gay, but the whole process of opening gifts and everyone going “Awwwww it’s another blankie!” or “Awwww isn’t that cuuuute?  A breast pump!”  gets a little weird for me.  So I initially didn’t plan on going to the mini-shower because, for one, I figured it would be like that; and for another, I kind of wasn’t invited.  (The original intention was to have all the female members of the family there.)

But then reality hit me like a sledgehammer:

“Hey dumbass, you’re these babies’ uncle.  You need to be there.

Which was followed by the shining realization:


Granted, I’m not the ONLY uncle, but I AM the ONLY uncle on my sister’s side of the family.  And that carries a hell of a lot of responsibility.  Which included getting my uncle-butt over to my sister’s house to be at her shower, with a gift in tow.

I wanted to get her something she really needed, so I called my mom for guidance.  She told me they still needed a second bassinet, so I placed the order and scheduled it to be delivered to their house.  It didn’t make it in time for the shower, so I printed out a picture of it and put it in the card I brought, with a note saying it would probably be delivered very soon.  It arrived today.

The shower itself was really nice.  I saw some of my cousins that I haven’t seen in quite a while and a few other people I hadn’t seen in a very long time.  Mom made barbeque beef, which was delicious and there was a lot of food for everyone to go around.  My cousin brought her daughters and everyone enjoyed playing with and holding the baby.

Beth stayed in her recliner almost the whole time.  She’s a 30 weeks now and is starting to get uncomfortable very quickly.  The babies are moving around a LOT, which of course is wonderful news.  They’re healthy and very much on schedule.   At their last ultrasound, Baby “A” was determined to be just over three pounds and Baby “B” was just shy of three pounds.  Six pounds of baby and more to come.  Yikes.

It’s just amazing to see this happening to my little sister.  It’s been such a difficult road to get to this point– from failures to successes to scary moments to hopeful happiness.  She’s so ready to have those babies, and we’re all excited to have them, too.  But we want to have them when they’re ready– and not a moment sooner.

And when they do arrive, their Uncle Rick will be there with Grandma Jill, probably crying our eyes out with joy.

I probably won’t be having any kids of my own, so these little girls are all I have.  I want them to know that their Uncle Rick is going to love them unconditionally and will be a big part of their lives.

It’s still hard for me to wrap my brain around the idea that I’m going to be an uncle very soon.  But I think when the moment arrives, I’m going to be the best darn uncle those little girls could ever have wished for.  They deserve it, and so does their Mom and Dad.  And with their Grandmas here on earth and their Grandpas in heaven watching over them, they are going to be so very loved.

Pretty lucky little kids, I’d say.

The Christmas Bows

The Christmas Bows

When my Mom moved out of her parents’ house, my Grandma decided she wanted to do something special for her first Christmas.  So she bought several yards of bright red felt, created a pattern, and sewed, by hand, 50 red bows for her Christmas tree. 

Mom and Dad's Tiny TreeEach bow was about five inches wide and three inches tall.  They were all “tied” with a small strip of felt and sewn in the back, and an ornament hook was sewn in to hang the bows on her Christmas tree.

When we were kids, we had an oddly shaped artificial tree.  The ornaments didn’t hang on the tree, they more or less “laid” on the tree.  As the years went on, we replaced the old tree with a new, more symmetrical tree, and we decided to be more particular about how it looked.  So we decided to drape the garland from branch to branch and hook a bow at each point.  This way we had a much prettier tree, and we could feature my Mom’s Christmas bows more prominently.  It was the perfect way to honor Grandma’s memory, and continue the family tradition.  We continued this tradition even when we replaced the big tree with a smaller tree (shown at left). 

When my sister and I moved out of their house, my Mom decided to continue the tradition further.  She purchased many yards of red felt — a slightly coarser and thicker grade felt than Grandma had used — and copied the pattern from one of her own bows.  She cut the felt, created the bows, and sewed them together; then glued the “tie” on and the hook in the back.  She created 50 for me, and 50 for my sister.

When my sister and I opened the bows that Christmas, we instantly burst into tears.  We knew Mom was making the bows, but we didn’t know she was making them for us.  And from that Christmas on, the bows adorned each of our own Christmas trees. 

So this weekend when I put my tree up, and I open that box of bows, I will instantly be reminded of how much love went into them.  And I will remember how much love went into the bows my Grandma created for my mom.  That’s what tradition, and love, is all about.

Have a great weekend everyone!