In the wee hours of Saturday morning, January 23rd, a new little girl entered the world and entered our life. No, I didn’t have another baby (in fact, Juniper now holds the new record for Oldest Youngest Young, since she is 11 months old and has no little sibling on the way). My cousin and his wife, who live right around the corner from us, but whom we don’t see nearly often enough, have just welcomed their first daughter, Ellie Elyse.
Ordinarily, the birth of a new first cousin once removed* is not blogworthy. I confess I’ve welcomed at least four others in the past two years and not mentioned a word about it! But Ellie gets a special welcome, because she is going to be a pretty major part of our lives beginning after Easter.
After much thought, discussion, and prayer, Trevor and I decided a couple months ago that it would be wonderful to look after Ellie during the day when her mom goes back to work as a kindergarten teacher in the Spring. Thankfully, her parents have deemed us up to the task and are willing to share her with us.
Since making that decision I have looked forward to this little one’s arrival almost as if it were one of my own. We didn’t know her gender (quite right, too!), and wondered if this might finally bring a bit of blue into our otherwise very pink household. Isn’t God good for knowing better? Can you imagine what my girls would have done to a little boy with so many princess dresses and tutus hanging around this house? It just doesn’t bear thinking about.
I had also wondered, back in the dark corners of my mind, if it would be hard to care for someone else’s baby. I know my way around a baby, and I knew I’d be okay with the logistical aspects of looking after her, but what if I couldn’t bond with her? What if she seemed foreign to me, and I didn’t feel the same natural affection I have for my own kids?
Well, last night, I met her, and I held her, and every worry I had was banished from my mind. Though she couldn’t possibly look less like one of my own children (a newborn with tons of dark hair, can you imagine?!), I am completely smitten, and am so looking forward to getting to know her and have her in all of our lives.
Welcome to the world, sweet Ellie!
*If you’re not sure how the whole first-second-cousin-once-twice-removed thing works, you’re in good company: I wasn’t either. I sorted myself out here. Go ahead, learn something new today!