My sweet niece Ellen turns 26 tomorrow. That's her above with my Uncle Max. I confess that I do not actually remember the day that Ellen was born as I do with my other nieces and my oldest nephew. I remember details about the other births, but I cannot find anything in my memory about Ellen's birth. Ellen and her parents (my brother Peter and his wife Nancy) lived in Tennessee then, and I was still in high school in New York. We came down to see our new baby during my spring break, so she would have been just a month old. Still, I have no memories of that time period. Later, though, when I came to college in Tennessee, I spent lots of time with my sweet Ellen Ann. I used to babysit every Thursday evening so that Peter and Nancy could go on a date; in exchange I got to do my laundry at their house. That was a sweet deal. One year I sewed tiny clothes for Ellen's Barbies. I was a good aunt.
And Ellen, no doubt, will be a wonderful mama. She is due today with her first baby. Fifteen years ago I, too, waited in March for the birth of my first son. Those details I have not forgotten: the baby's room all ready, the hospital bag packed, the mixture of fear and eagerness. At any moment, your life about to change in ways that cannot be imagined in all the 9 months of preparation.
**So I've spent the last 15 minutes trying to find a fabulous, inspirational quote about new motherhood. But my own little people are running amok, asking for supper and snacks and, and Randy's just come home and the dog is going wild, and my mother comes over to tell me news about Ellen (which is no news), and my brother calls, and so this is the only quote that seemed appropriate:
Having a family is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain.
-- Martin Mull
-- Martin Mull