I met her when I was five.
She was a little funny-looking, all wrinkled and squashed up, and she cried at the drop of a hat.
But she shared her tea set with me, and let me borrow her baby dolls, and she didn't even mind when I followed her around constantly.
It was love at first sight.
Through the years, my sister and I have shared so many things--a room, toys, pets, clothes. Now, though, we share something intangible that further tightens the bond between us: we are mothers.
Leslie gave birth to her first baby today, Landon James. My mom was always a wreck when I was in labor, and I laughed it off, until today, when my little sister was the one in labor, and I was the wreck. Sweeter words have never been uttered than when my mom called and said, "She's done!"
The fun is just about to begin: now we can commiserate about the soreness that accompanies the first weeks of nursing (not to mention episiotomies!), that middle-of-the-night stupor while nursing a baby with both eyes closed, hoping he'll go back to sleep quickly, wearing pajamas all day until it's time to put on new ones for bed, smelling like spit-up constantly, changing blow-outs (and I don't mean tires), which diaper brand is the best, and whether Baby Bjorn of Snugli makes a better baby carrier.
Mostly, though, we will both now know what it's like to love a little someone so much your heart literally feels like it's going to break. What it's like to cradle someone's face in your hands, wondering at each shadow and nuance and feature. How it feels to know that your every word, action, and decision from here on out will no longer affect only you; that the traditions you keep and habits you set will craft a childhood that will never be forgotten. The absolute heaviness of the responsibility motherhood carries would crush us, if it weren't accompanied by such a sweetness and love that compares to nothing else. I look to the future with not only this sweet nephew of mine, but also with his mother, my sister, and smile, knowing that there are few things more bonding than the common experience of motherhood.
How blessed I am to have met this girl, 25 years ago, and how blessed I am to meet her little boy today. Congratulations, Jeremy and Leslie; this is the first day of an amazing ride!