And I usually know how I’m going to react
I may be caught off guard or a bit shocked or surprised but I can usually process things pretty quickly and know just how I’m going to react
The first time my husband, then boyfriend, told me he loved me, I was totally prepared to hear itMy heart and head processed it with relative ease and comfort
The first time Lucy said I love you, I knew my heart would melt; I was totally prepared for the emotion it elicited
The day my mother called me to say your Dad has cancer…well, though I was not prepared for it, I handled it with nary a tear, I saved those for laterI simply asked what do you need me to do? What’s next?
When Mum called to tell me my grandmother had passed, and a year later, when Grampy passed, I was ready for it – I knew their lives had been long and fruitful and it was time for them to go
When Sean asked me to marry him, though it was a total surprise, I knew how I would react (of course I would say yes!)
I know someday, Lucy will ask to borrow the car and I’ll have a small stroke and hand over the keys (and then follow her in the other car)
I know someday, she’ll ask me if she can go to a boy/girl party; she’ll ask me if she can date, she’ll ask me where babies come from
I know someday, Lucy might, God forbid, call and say Mum, I’ve been in a car accident or Mum I’m in trouble
Someday, she’ll call me because she’s been dumped and her heart has been broken; she’ll call because she did not get the job she wanted or she’ll call to say I’m moving away
And I hope someday, Lucy calls and says I’m getting married! I’m having a baby!
And someday, she may even say out of anger I hate youI remember saying it to my Mum and Dad and still regret I did but I think at some point, most kids have yelled this out (weather they mean it or not is another thing)
I think of what I have heard and seen up to this point in my life and though sometimes it surprises and shocks me, rarely am I rocked to my core and rendered completely speechless and incapable of an intelligent reaction
But there have been two times in my life I can recall this happening
Where I witnessed or was told something that rendered me incapable of having any reaction except to either go into a silent retreat or just mutter the same thing over and over and over again until I was brought to tears
The first time was October 27, 2004
That was when the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years
That was when the Red Sox won the World Series for the first time in 86 years
I was at my youngest sister’s houseWe decided to stay home and watch Game 4 – there was no way I could be in public, I needed to be in a “safe zone”
If I remember correctly, I was on the floor on my knees (yes, for most of the game)
My sister was on the couch and then next to me also on her knees
We were both muttering “please, please, please”
We may or may not have genuflected a couple times
When the final out was made, I believe I let out one whoop and then went quiet
I remember looking at each other for a couple minutes and one of us said
Holy shit, did we just win?
Yeah, I think we did
The Red Sox just won the World Series
(In unison) Holy shit!
I did not speak for the next 24 hours
The second time was the other night
February 6, 2013, 9:30pm
Our house phone never rings that late – and if it does, it is never a good thing
When I saw my youngest sister’s phone number on the caller id, my heart skipped a beat
I grabbed the phone, hit talk and blurted
What’s wrong? Are you okay? Why are you calling me?
I didn’t call you, you called me
No I didn’t! What’s wrong?
I’m just teasing, I called you
Mikel! What’s wrong?!?
Then she yelled
For the second time in my life, I could not react
My baby sister just called and said she’s having a baby…she’s having a baby!!!!???!!!
I know I said congratulations to her and WinstonAnd I know poor Winston tried to say something but I could not even process what I was hearing…I don’t even think I heard him
My baby sister is having a baby!
I kept babbling I’m so excited; I’m so excited for you
I’m so happy for you
And after three or four minutes of that, I started to cry
I remember sort of saying it’s the best thing ever, I can’t wait for you to be parents you guys, it is the best thing that will ever happen to you
And then I think I again started babbling about how excited I was
And I was still crying
Even when I hung up, the tears were still rolling down my cheeks
I immediately called my MumJust a quick call; I think I just need to confirm what I had just heard
The next morning, I called my Mum to ask when we could have the shower
I can’t even believe my sister, my baby sister, is going to have a baby
I always knew someday she would have one, I just did not know I would be so….that I would react this way….that is I would be unable to react
That news like this would render me speechless because it is the best news I have heard in a long time…..it has actually pulled me out of the funk I have been in for the past month or so
My sister, my baby sister I took care of, the one I adored and thought of as mine, is having a baby
I am so over the moon for her and her husbandI can’t wait for them to be parents….to get to experience the thrill, the frustration, the fear, the joy, the unconditional love of being a Mum, of being a Dad, of being parents together
I went to bed and I remember my last thought being I can't even believe Mikel is having a baby...I am so excited, so happy....she gets to be a Mum!
Lucy woke up at 2am this morningShe padded into our room and whispered
Mumma, I love you
I love you too baby, what’s the matter
I have to go potty
We went potty and then Lucy was wide awake
So we went and snuggled in the second bedroom so as not to wake Daddy and Ziggy up….and we talked as we sometimes do when she wakes up in the middle of the night
We talked about school and how much she loves Miss Barbara and can Miss Barbara always be her teacher?
We talked about the snow that’s coming this weekend – we can’t wait to make snow angles!
And then Lucy reminded me we forgot to talk to God before we went to sleep (and by that she means saying our prayers)
So we talked to God for a spell
Lucy asked him to take care of everyone we love and to help Lucy be a good listener
She also told God how the letter of the week is Q and Q is a big circle with a tail
And then Lucy says
God, did you know Queen begins with Q and I went to the Queen’s house in England? (true, in 2010)Can you please take care of her too? I like the Queen…..and the pretty Princess (she is of course referring to Katherine)
After we were done talking to God I said
Hey Lucy, guess what?What Mumma
Auntie Mikey and Uncle Win are having a baby!
What Mumma?! There’s a baby in Auntie Mike’s belly like I was in yours?!?
Sure is Lucy
That is so crazy Mumma!!! And that makes me so happy!
Me too Luce
Mumma! I can teach the baby to go pee pee and poopie on the potty ‘cause I’m a big girl and I know how to do that!
That is really nice of you Lucy! I’m sure Uncle Win will appreciate that
No problem Mumma, I’m here to help
Conversations like this are why I am rendered speechless when my sister tells me she’s pregnant….because this is what she has to look forward to and how do you tell someone how happy you are for them that they too get to experience this amazing thing called parenthood?
Hey Mumma?Will the baby live with Auntie Mike and Uncle Win?
Not with us?
No honey…but the baby will be your cousin and we can visit your cousin whenever you want and the baby can come see us
Oh, okay…..what is it Mumma?
What’s what honey?
Is it a boy baby or a girl baby?
Well, we don’t know yet
Does Auntie Mike know?
Nope, no one knows yet
I bet God does Mumma; I’ll just ask him tomorrow night when we talk
Oh, okay Lucy
Can I have some pretzels and some water now?
And can we get a puppy?
We’ll stop here because why ruin this beautiful moment by telling you how Lucy, who by now has been up since 2am and it is now 3:30am, proceeded to spill the entire bottle of water in the bed (by accident, totally my fault, I was half asleep and left her alone with an open bottle of water) thereby soaking the bedSo Lucy climbed into bed with Daddy and I went into her bed but could not sleep and lay awake until almost 5 am when I finally fell asleep only to be awoken an hour later by Lucy yelling out she was ready to get dressed for school
But I would not trade it for the world
I get to be a Mum
And now so does my little sister
So to my sister and brother-in-law, and old Irish proverb because I could never put into words how happy and how excited I, and Sean and Lucy, are for you:
For the new baby:May you always walk in sunshine
May you never want for more
May Irish angels rest their wings
Beside your nursery door
And for the proud parents:
May God grant you a wee bit of heaven
To cradle in your arms
A sweet bonny baby
To hold close in your heart
A newborn babe
Brings light to the house
Warmth to the hearth
And joy to the soul
For wealth is family
Family is wealth
We wish you years of health, happiness, hugs, love, laughs, kisses and cuddles with the newest addition to the family
And I leave you with this from your Goddaughter and niece:
Mumma, tell Auntie Mike I can show her how to change a diaperOh, you know how to do that Lucy?
From watching you, when I was a baby – and I know what babies should eat
Really? What should they eat Lucy?
Broccoli, cauliflower and kindness kisses (Hershey kisses) and maybe some pasta but not all together, just one at a time
Really…any other words of advice for Auntie Mike and Uncle Win
Hmmm, finger on chin as she looks up at the ceiling deep in thought
Then, she holds her finger straight up in the air and says with great authority:
Don’t drop the baby
Good advice Lucy, good advice
Maria the Mum who is going to be an Aunt again!