Memory Lane (Ode to My Nephew)

Today my nephew turned five. FIVE-YEARS-OLD! Where on earth has time gone? I remember his birth like it was yesterday, except it’s been five years. The little person Quentin, whom we all call “Q”, has won over many hearts with his charm, humor and beautiful face. Ironically, we had no idea he was a boy until he was born.

I can still feel the excitement of it all—I was going to be an auntie and was so elated. January 24th, 2007: My sister went to the hospital to have labor induced because the bundle-of-joy-to-be was past due (sounds like a library book—*smirk*). It was nice to know the actual day on which the little one would be born. The room at home was ready, the gifts had been put away, mountains of diapers were arranged cleverly, and the baby shower had taken place in November. Everything was set. But there remained an un-foretold dilemma: everything was pink or purple and was definitely for a little niece, not a nephew.

Yes, this really happened. Q was “supposed” to be a girl, according to the ultrasounds, etc. Comforting to know that modern technology still doesn’t provide all the answers. He was supposed to be Keira. Instead, to the surprise of all–especially the doctor, he was a boy. And a gorgeous one at that.

Me (during my blonde days) holding my brand new nephew in 2007.

I received news at work that it was time to be on my way to the hospital. Quentin was born while I was on the road. My mom called me to give me a very appropriate account of the whole scenario, rather than a play-by-play. Good thing my mom is very tactful. As soon as my nephew’s dad came out to the waiting room to share the news with my family, I heard my mom say, “It’s a…it’s a…a boy? I need to call you back.” Click.

My own mother hung up on me, leaving me hanging with all sorts of questions while I drove as quickly and safely as possible to the hospital. What did she mean I had a nephew instead of a niece?! How could the doctor get that one wrong? And most importantly, what were we going to do with all the frilly pink dresses?

  Well, everything turned out just fine. My sister was able to re-gift or give away many of the clothes. Everyone and their mom and their dogs and their second-cousins-twice-removed sent boy clothes and gifts. And we were just happy to see a healthy baby, no matter what the gender. I still laugh when I think about my mother’s shock at the news of her new grandson and how she hung up on me. And I laugh every day at the funny things the cutest nephew in the world says.

He is honestly one of the most easy-going, mellow, intelligent kids I’ve ever met. And that’s saying something—not because I’m his auntie (I actually go by “Titi”) but because I’m honest about kids, especially since I’ve been working with them for over fourteen years. If I can someday produce offspring as gorgeous and well-behaved as my Quentin, I’ll be forever content. Of course, props to my sis for being a great mom. However, she’s been truly blessed with such an even keel kiddo. So here’s to my nephew, one of the coolest kids to roam the earth and someone who I believe will someday impact the world just as much as he’s impacted mine. And for now, the would-be Keira, or at least the name itself, will be forever immortalized in the current series I’m writing: Spirit Lake. Perhaps that’s the world in which she really should belong.

Our trip to Disneyland last fall…