My niece turned 8 years old yesterday. 8 years old.
I remember January 14th, 2001 like it was yesterday. I was living in New York City at that time, and my mother called me to tell me that Nicole (my sister-in-law) was in labor. I called (my-then-fiance) Matt and told him that I really wanted to drive back to Rhode Island to be there for her birth.
My brother and sister-in-law had honored me as Taylor’s Godmother – so I felt even more of a connection to this soon-to-be-born baby girl, Taylor Jane.
And then, there she was. A beauty with dark hair. A perfect little package.
I was an “Auntie Audrey” for the very first time. I had always wanted to have children… but as soon as I locked eyes with Taylor, I knew it was my destiny to have them. I needed this. I needed to experience the love that my brother and sister-in-law were experiencing for the very first time. There’s a “look” that parents have when they gaze at their children… and seeing that “first time look” from my brother and sister-in-law – it was a “look” I wanted in looking at my own child.
But here she was. And through the years… before I had children… Taylor (and my other nieces and nephews) was my “guinea pig.”
I had never changed a baby’s diaper before. I had never fed a baby. I had never tried to make a baby laugh or smile or stop crying. I had never dressed a baby. This world was so new to me… and being an “auntie,” it was a world I loved watching.
I remember having these gorgeous dresses custom made for my nieces Taylor and Madison (Madison came 3 months after Taylor from my other brother and sister-in-law) to wear to my wedding. They were miniature replicas of my wedding gown… well, here I was thinking they would be able to wear these dresses for my wedding in June… for Christmas that year… and possibly for any other event that may be coming up in that next year. Well… I hadn’t realized (or even thought!) that babies grow fast! Too fast! And that a 3-6 month outfit would only fit for – well, 3 -6 months!
I remember one night when my brother had finally “got” Taylor to fall asleep… and I went upstairs to get something and heard a little noise in her room. I peeked in and saw Taylor up… so I brought her down. The look my brother gave me… well, I knew I was leaving in 10 minutes, but just hadn’t thought that he would now have to go through the whole bedtime ritual — again! Something I know very well now!
I remember the nights I would call my sister-in-law to chat and she would be walking around with the phone as she tried to get Taylor to sleep… and I would hear these little noises. These cute little noises. My poor sister-in-law… I would be going on and on and on about what was going on in New York City and at work and with Matt and with everything… and she would just be walking all around the house listening to me. And I would just love to hear the littles coos from this little baby girl.
Taylor… you were my very first initiation into motherhood. All my nieces and nephews were. I don’t want to leave anyone out… but Taylor, you were the first baby I had ever held as an adult woman with a direct connection to me.
The love I feel for William, Alexander, Benjamin and Henry… I yearned to give that love after seeing you enter this world. You are my special girl. And I love that I have you and Maddie to buy pink and frills and dresses and hair-bands for… and one of my most special memories is when you came to New York City with your parents, aunts and uncles and cousins to be with me on the day that William, my first baby, was born.
Happy Birthday, Taylor… I will always love you!
Quick and easy today.
It is the easiest accessory in the world. The “it” scarf this year has fringe and texture to the fabric.
I am extremely partial to my blue plaid Burberry scarf… that I snagged at a local boutique for $50(!) 2 years ago. It gives an outfit warmth and comfort and a dash of color. A simple black sweater with jeans is quickly turned up a notch – in a second!
And unlike coats and sweaters and blouses… a scarf can be your va-va-voom factor, transforming any outfit!