Yesterday was my baby sister´s 27th birthday! (Which means my 30 is just 1 day away… GULP!) To celebrate we honored a lot of traditions: “tres leches” cake, sushi dinner thoughtful presents. There´s something comforting about knowing what to except on your birthday, but a lot of things changed this year, some for better and some for worse. Even though the cake was store bought and not made by our beloved Abu, the present I gave my sister highlighted the best change in our routine: a framed, black and white photograph of Lu and Phia our beautiful daughters, just 1 year apart.
This change in our lives has been one of the happiest and most fun change ever. When my sister announced she was pregnant more than two years ago I was a bit shocked but mostly thrilled. I always wanted to be an aunt before having kids of my own but that seemed pretty unlikely considering my sister is three years younger than me and my sisters in law weren´t even married at the time. But then my sister and brother in law broke the big news and the fun began. I enjoyed sharing the whole ultrasound, baby shopping watching baby grow experience from a distance since my sister didn´t live in Mexico at the time. I only got to share precious few days with my adorable new niece for the first couple of months (in which I discovered the delicious feeling of an infant sleeping against my chest) but after a lot of Skyped bath times they decided to move back!
Since then I slowly built a strong magical bond with Phia, my niece. She learned to say my name shortly after she began to talk and would start shouting excitedly when my sister´s car approached my street. When I got pregnant Phia thought my belly was an adorable stuffed something which she would happily hug and when I stopped working I spent many, many laughter filled hours in her company, especially toward the end of the last trimester when my sister became my chauffer (for which I am eternally grateful Nena )
But not only did I forge a strong magical bond with Phia, my relationship with my sister which had always been very, very close but also quite passional became the stuff of dreams and Hallmark cards: phone conversations that lasted hours, swapping husband stories and sharing worries and dreams, we cooked together and laughed until we cried (mostly at Phia´s antics). All trough my pregnancy my doctor sister patiently answered all my questions and let me practice on her daughter and when I gave birth her recent experience with Phia and her Baby Whisperer like baby calming skills became quite soothing.
As for Phia and Lu their first three months as cousins where hilarious: Phia started imitating everything I did while caring for Lu, rocking, feeding and shushing dolls, stuffed animals and imaginary babies. She also tried to cover Lu with blankets and would laugh delightedly when I held Lu´s hand a patted her head. Lu mostly acknowledged Phia when she banged her head with a rattle or tried to stuff her pacifier on Lu´s tightly shut mouth.
This last month Lu has become more and more aware of Phia: she looks at her with curiosity or confusion (especially when when toys disappear from her hands and end up in Phia´s). She also washed Phias back in the bath and jumped in the trampoline with her (on mommy´s arms of course) As for Phia, she has recently devoted a passion for holding Lu in her arms, even though Lu weights practically the same as her and still seems undecided as to whether she liked Lu the doll or Lu the person who likes toys and grabs them better.
Yesterday was the 27th birthday I have spent with my sister and I´m incredibly excited to imagine Phia and Lu spending the next birthday and the next and the next grabbing each other’s toys and eating all the frosting of our “tres Leches” cakes ( which little sis has learned to bake!)
Happy Birthday Nenita! Hope we laugh until they kick us out of the restaurant for the next 50 or 60 years!