The Second-Best Phone Call In the World

The best, of course, is Harry Connick Jr. calling to announce that we are indeed going to be wed and that he is going to finance my writing career forever more. But this one runs a very, very close second: After YEARS of begging, ordering, and pleading, I am going to be an aunt. Let's type that again, it looks so pretty: I am going to be an aunt.

My one and only sister is due on April 7th. I've been waiting for this so long that it's hard to believe that it's actually happening.

The phone rang at 7:45 last night and I was confused because I know four people and two of them were there and the rest were about to watch Friends. It was my sister, who asked how my day at work was. Then she asked, "Are you sitting down?"

"Yes," I lied.

Then she goes, "Are you ready to be an aunt?" and I started shrieking. Oogie and Flipper were in my living room and I ran in and said, "I'M GOING TO BE AN AUNT!!" and they said, "Oh!" and went back to eating chips. Then I got my brother-in-law on the phone and tearfully thanked him for knocking up my big sister.

My mother had guessed it all along and had the baby presents we've been collecting for the past 3 years at the ready, among them a Woodstock rattle, a blanket, and a tshirt reading "If You Think I'm Cute You Should See My Aunt."

A baby!

If anyone should be reproducing, it's Julie. She is the best person I know-- caring, sensible, kind, funny, calm. May the child be nothing like me.

What overwhelms me is how this is going to change everything. My sister is going to be a mother, and her life will be nothing like it was before. My life will change too. Maybe I should consider moving this circus train a little closer to home-- at the very least, I need to visit more often. I want this kid to know me, so that I may warp it properly.

I can't believe that my niece or nephew has been in this world, growing and listening, for the past three months, and I didn't even know about it. I made Julie put the phone against her stomach so I could talk to the little one and tell him/her that I love her and that we will be going to the track very soon. And how clever of it to be born before Episode III is released!

They found out for sure, Julie says, on the day the Reds traded Aaron Boone. That is so typical of a Cincinnatian child. At least it will learn all about losing at an early age, which should make life as a Bengals fan far easier to endure.

Soon as I get out of this 60 degree ambient sweatshop, I'm off to buy Shrinky Dinks and Play-Dough and a pony and all kinds of horrible things that only an aunt will purchase.

September 26, 2003

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