My sister Mary AKA Bean dances like no one's watching. And if people are watching, they are probably at a concert because that's where she spends a great majority of her time feeding her love of music. She does that arm flailing full of joy-I was born 40 years too late-Woodstockian flower-child dance and I marvel at her spirit. Marvel and laugh at her because I'm her older sister and we do that.
Last year, at 20, Bean decided to be a grown up and work full time, attend school full time and in an act of sheer love and selflessness, watch Jack two days a week (her only days off of work) so we could ease him into day care. They bonded over the Beatles and blankets strewn across the lawn while dappled sunlight danced in Jack's eyes through the lens of Bean's ever present iPhone.
This year, at 21, Bean decided to be a kid for the last year you can truly be a kid. She doesn't come around as much, but when she does she greets her beloved Jack with a "PEANIEEEEE" our affectionate nickname for our little peanut.
|Aunt Bean & Peanie at Indian Lake|
This pregnancy has not gotten off to a blissful start. I've been plagued by constant nausea which is worst at night plus a quick trip to the hospital with blood clots in my leg. It's hard to not feel like I'm missing out on this precious time with Jack while I lay curled up on the bed trying to talk myself down from another wave of nausea. Trevor has essentially become a single father in the evenings taking care of dinner and bath every night, but now he's in rehearsals for a play he's directing and help has become imperative.
Last week, the side door burst open to the sound of "HI PEANIEEEEE!" and there was Aunt Bean wearing slipper socks, yoga pants and a hoodie sweatshirt- her standard visiting uniform. I was in my standard position, curled up on my bed while Trevor was getting dinner ready. Jack jumped into her arms and she gave him a huge hug. The 3 of us sat on my bed talking about important things- the finale of Honey Boo Boo and the most recent concert she attended- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
Then, the most wonderful thing happened. We turned our cable to the music stations and she held an impromptu dance party with Jack. "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry was playing. The #1 song on the day Jack was born was "Firework", so Katy Perry has sort of become Jack's homegirl. I sat on my bed feeling sick as a dog while my beloved sister danced around the room with my beloved son. She swung him around while his little hand rested gently on her shoulder. He laughed and giggled and smiled and I saw all of the things I wished I could do with him before my eyes, but he wasn't missing out on any of it because of Aunt Bean.
Uncle Cris is Trevor's younger (and only) brother. He is a cheeky monkey who has shared more than 1 crazy adventure with Trevor and they have scars to prove it. Cris can be incredibly elusive and we may go a few weeks without hearing from him. He keeps busy with work and friends, but he is the kind of person who will drop everything to help you when you need him.
|Uncle Cris & Sparky- 1/7/11|
For two nights in a row this week and for as long as we need him to, Cris has come over at 5pm to wait for Jack (who he has called "Sparky" since the day of his birth) and I to return home so he can play with him and give him lots of attention during what is a very difficult and nauseous time of day for me. He stays for dinner and gets to know his nephew better. He has shown him the magic that is a cardboard box and has made promises to build complex (read- incredibly dangerous) obstacle courses and stairway slip 'n slides when Jack is older. Yesterday, uncle and nephew, Cris and Sparky grabbed a soccer ball and went out to the backyard to play. I could hear Jack's excited cries of "ball! ball! ball!" as Cris ushered him outside.
Trevor is adamant that Jack will call Uncle Cris "Uncle Luda". Get it? Luda-cris? And while Jack hasn't mastered the word Cris, last night he did muster a Looo-a. Trevor might just get his wish. When we do ask him to say Cris, he puckers his lips and makes a kiss instead which I think is just about perfect.
Bean and Cris shared maid of honor/best man duties in our wedding. Those titles weren't just captions in a wedding program, they have maintained that place of honor in our life as a couple and now as a family. Does it take a village to raise a child? Yes, I do believe it does. It certainly takes a village to support two working parents. I love our little village people Bean and Cris. Jack loves them too.
Someday Jack and his younger sibling will go sledding down the basement stairs on a cookie sheet while blasting The Beatles' "Helter Skelter" and I will know that the legacy of Bean and Cris lives on in my babies.