It’s been nice catching up with family throughout my trip.  First with my Aunt Cathy and Uncle Doug, an awesome sanctuary filled with 5:00 cocktails, grilling out and laughter.

And then about halfway through my trip I got to spend time getting to know my almost 1 year old niece Francesca and catching up with my brother Kevin and sister-in-law Adriana, who I feel is like a sister.  I call her sis, which sounds really wrong when I say things like, “I’m going to visit my bother and sister and their new baby.

Sometimes terms of endearment can be misleading.

I got to spend an afternoon babysitting my niece while my brother and Adriana enjoyed some time alone on an actual date for their anniversary.

I’ve always liked kids well enough but I’d never had that urge to procreate that so many of my girlfriends had.  When I’d let my mind imagine what it might be like, I could only think about the 9 months where some alien life form takes over my body, swelling my ankles, the painful childbirth, the lack of sleep, the loss of freedom.

Relatives would hand me their newborn offspring and I’d hold them awkwardly, afraid of dropping them.  They’d cry and I’d immediately find their mom or pass them off to a more practiced aunt.  I wasn’t the gal who sought out babies or who simpered at them at restaurants.

I didn’t change diapers.

I could however very easily imagine myself adopting and had always figured I’d likely wind up married to a man with his own kids and that I might make a very excellent step mom.

All this to say, I didn’t have a lot of practice with babies.

And so when the door shut and I was alone with Francesca, I turned to her and said, “Ok kiddo, I’m new at this.  Go easy on me.”  And I think she understood.

We played, we laughed, we napped and we even changed a diaper.

She was such a good baby trainer.  She didn’t squirm at all while I changed her and I’d seen my brother change her.  I knew she was very squirm capable.  After I got her new diaper on, I had a moment of panic, trying to get the baby diaper bump back into her pants.  It just wouldn’t seem to work.

“Hmmm I’m not sure how to get your baby booty back in,” I said.  And then she giggled and leaned over onto her side.  Magically the pants slid up without a problem.

But my favorite part of my afternoon with my niece was when I was rocking her to sleep.  The music softly playing in the background, her baby arms cuddled against me and the smell of her hair against my nose.  And then for the first time, I felt it.

I could do this.



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