Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I'm an Ant

My parents love to tell this story from their younger days about how my mom, upon hearing her sister had given birth to a baby boy, announced to my dad,

"I'm an Ant! I'm an Ant!" That is the literal pronunciation of how she said aunt.

"You're a what?" He smirked.


I'm an Ant! I'm an Ant!

My little brother - who is 34 years old - is now a daddy. His wife bravely gave birth (read no drugs) to an over 8 pound little man. The newest member of our family arrived last night. My sister-in-law dealt with some additional issues post-delivery but I am relieved to say she is resting comfortably.

I have one picture of him on my phone. He is perfect. Of course he is. He's my nephew.

Last week when I told my husband (now called "Boo" by our new office assistant - she's Dominican and every time he calls she tells me "Your Boo is on the phone.") that I was going to be an Aunt, he took offense.

"But you've got three nieces and a nephew already!" On his side. Putting aside the infrequency we see those four kids, those are his blood relatives.

This one is mine. My side of the family. But then there is something else.

This is the first time someone I remember as a baby now has a baby of his own. I have an ever so slight glimmer of what it is like to watch your child become a parent. Of course, mine is tinged with the silliness of an older sister. An older sister who can still reduce a 34-year-old man into a writhing mess on the floor simply by threatening to tickle him. I'm so dangerous around him that my parents stood on either side of me when he got married to prevent me from wiggling a finger in his general direction during the ceremony.

An older sister who remembers his first forays into trombone playing in which he sounded like a dying cow. When he got a little better I told him he had really improved. He sounded like a cow in labor.

An older sister who was very frightened when he was rushed to the hospital with a kidney infection. He was there for a few days. If it had gone undetected any longer, the outcome was unthinkable.

An older sister who thinks it is amazing that the little boy who sat on my lap now runs marathons and trains for triathlons, is working on his Ph.D., is married to an incredibly talented woman and has a beautiful home in a cool city.

My little brother is a daddy.

And the baby's name? He is named after our dad.


Jodi said...

Being an aunt is the best. In some ways it's better than being a mom. You can spoil them rotten and they always love you. My nephew recently said to me, "Aunt Jodi, you are the only one who never gets mad at me."
And, if they turn out to be serial killers, you are not responsible.

Gunfighter said...

Mazel Tov!

ZoeyBella said...

I'll probably never be an aunt (or an ant) as the idea of my sister having kids is not in the cards. I'm telling you this is a good thing. Trust me.

Fourier Analyst said...

My brother, who is 2 years younger, ruined the whole experience for me by producing his first offspring when he was 18! I was so shocked at the idea of parenting at such a young age that I put off having kids for almost another 20 years!!

Congratulations Auntie! Have fun spoilin' him!

Alex Elliot said...

Congratulations!!! I'm not an aunt yet. Us Chicagoians pronounce it as "ant" as well. Hey, we're not the ones who add "h" and "r" to words :)

Flower Child said...

Congratulations! Funny, I still have a photo you sent of your brother and his bride. And so great that your nephew is named after your dad. Will you be sending him rock star onesies?

chelle said...

Congrats on the new addition in your family.

CableGirl said...

Congratulations on being and Ant. ;)

Best of luck to your brother, sister-in-law and new baby nephew.

I'd demand day by day photos. :)

Brillig said...

Awwww! Congratulations to him, to her, to you!!!! That's so exciting. Yes, I love my hubby's nieces and nephews, but there's something special about your OWN nieces and nephews!

(I love the thought of your parents keeping you away from your brother at his wedding so that you wouldn't wiggle your fingers too close. HAHAHAHA.)

And your sister-in-law sounds like a woman after my own birth-style. She must be VERY cool! ;-)

Jami said...

Congrats to Ant SMID! And many more congratulations to the proud parents and especially to the little man himself!

Goofball said...

oh becoming an "ant" is awesome! And I totally understand the difference between children of your own sister/brothers and those on your in-law's side. No matter how cute they all are, ...there is a special link with the children of your own sister/brother.

You are so funny about the tickling though. My sister can make me drop on the floor cracking up as well by threatening me to tickle me. We were also always teasing each other. It never crossed my mind though to tickle her on her wedding....damn, I missed the opportunity ;)

Jenn in Holland said...

I am sure he is perfect indeed! Congratulations to all of you!

We say "ant" in the west too. So that doesn't sound odd at all to my ears. :)
When my first niece was quite small and I would talk to her mama, my sister, on the phone, she would ask to talk to Anta Jenn too. That got shortened immediately to T'jenn. I loved that nickname. She greeted me for years by saying "Hi t'jenn!"
Being an aunt is grand.

Jenn said...

That's how I say Aunt! It's the correct way!

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

Congrats Auntie!

I was soooo sad when my nephew stopped calling me "Aunt Maymee." It was like our special little bond.

Jen said...

How cool. What a joy-filled post and it sounds like you are a very, very proud older sister (even if dangerous with the waggly fingers)

Lisa said...

"Ant" is the way most people pronounce it in the US, about 3/4 of us anyway. Definitely a regional and cultural thing. Anyway, congrats from a sister "ant"!