Today was the baby shower for Racheal and John and Leia’s soon-to-be cousin.
I got a kick out of seeing my pregnant sister be the center of attention. She much prefers fading into the background, slipping out the door when the social engagements are too much. But she’ll be the first person to raise hell, or speak her mind when needed. John and his family are soft spoken, patient, and kind. I know they are going to be great parents. I’m anxious to see how motherhood shapes Racheal’s life. I keep repeating my mantra “don’t be the know-it-all big sister, let her find her own path.”
She’s due October 23rd. Since Racheal’s birthday is 11/11, I thought it would be fun if he arrived on 10/10. But that’s a few weeks early, so who knows. They’re tossing around a few names (John Jr., Levi, Sheldon). I’m partial to Levi – it’s only one letter different from Leia! I think they’re set on Robert as a middle name to honor our Dad, which really warms my heart. He was definitely there in spirit today, in awe of his two girls being “all grown up.”
As excited as I am to see my sister experience this incredible journey of motherhood, my biggest thrill is thinking of Leia and her cousin growing up together. They’ll be 15 months apart. My Aunt and Uncle never had kids, and my Dad’s family was on the East Coast. So I never experienced what it was like to have a cousin until I was an adult (Thanks Facebook, for helping me keep in touch with my East Coast family). Andy, Racheal and I weren’t very close as children, many years we didn’t even live together. As adults we’ve learned to lean on each other in hard times and love each other unconditionally. I hope Leia and Levi/Sheldon/John Robert will grow up as playmates, maybe rivals at times, but always close. However it’s defined, feeling connected as a family is what matters most.