While I was in Colorado last week for work, I stayed with two of my best friends, Matt and Shelby, and got to hang out with their six-month old daughter Lottie. Such a treat to spend time with the new parents and to get some Auntie Allie time in with the baby.
It’s no secret that being an aunt is my favorite role in life and that my nieces and nephews are my favorite people on the planet. And that doesn’t only go for my relatives. For a long time, our group of friends–many of whom I grew up with in Fairport, NY–all lived near one another in Colorado and spent holidays and so many fun and special times together. We’re spread out around the country a bit now, but there’s no question we are family, and I’d do anything for them.
It was great prep for our adoption, too, because Shelby showed me what’s been working for her and Lottie. I learned all about their bedtime, nap, and bath time rituals, how to cut Lottie’s fingernails (very carefully) and exactly what I needed to round out my registry. I also learned that sometimes you have to change a baby’s outfit three times in 10 minutes and that what should be confined to the diaper sometimes winds up other places. Yep.
It was funny to see their house, once a cool hangout for hip and childless 30-somethings, completely taken over by colorful baby items. A swing, a play mat, a bouncer, a highchair and all sorts of crinkly, bright, and noisy toys are now front and center. There’s some sort of apparatus for Lottie to hang out in in every corner, though she mostly just wants you to hold her and walk around. Facing out so she can see the world, of course!
My favorite thing about visiting friends that are new parents is witnessing the transformation that has taken place. Shelby and Matt used to be so carefree. They did what they wanted when they wanted. But this tiny little baby now rules their worlds–and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Matt spends a lot of his free time wearing a baby carrier and making funny faces at Lottie now instead of fishing or skiing. And Shelby is completely and utterly devoted. She has really come into her own as a mother and loves Lottie more than anything else in the world. I can only hope I will be as wonderful a mama as she is. Proud of them–this gig ain’t always easy but it’s obviously well worth it.
Now that I’m home, and after spending time with one of the cutest babies ever, I’m even more excited to get the call. I’m ready and waiting to spoil my own baby and devote all my love, energy, and attention to Charlie (don’t worry Jamie there’s enough to go around).
I’m ready to change diapers, wake up every two hours, and wander aimlessly around the house making funny noises and dancing in front of mirrors with a Baby Bjorn on just to entertain him or her. I’m ready for colorful bouncers and toys and blankies and sleepless nights and noisy music balls. I’m ready for it all.