This weekend my nephew Lincoln will turn 5 years old. I was a senior in college when he was born and have been lucky enough to be able to physically be with him on every birthday since then. This year changes all of that. My parents will be visiting for a few days as usual, but this year I will be at home. I’m feeling pretty bummed about not being with him this year, but also feel really grateful that I live in a time where technology allows me to watch him open his presents in St. Louis Missouri while I sit in my house in New Jersey. As amazing as Skype is though it is still no replacement for actually being with him. Watching my parents get in the car to go to the airport I felt really melancholy and sad. So I decided I would write about Lincoln today to channel that melancholy into happy memories.
As I said, Lincoln was born my senior year of college. When my oldest niece, Lily, was born her Aunt Kristin and myself were at the hospital for the whole time leading up to the birth. (It was the first grandchild for both sides after all). I can’t remember what the plans were for Lincoln’s birth because whatever they were we did not adhere to them. I remember the night/day it happened very clearly. My college had two events every year that were a chance for bands to play, people to make funny videos and sketches, and the students to dress up within a set theme called Spring Fling and Harvest Festival. The weekend Lincoln was born was Harvest Festival. I had been up late with my friends. I think it was actually around 2 am when I finally got back into my room for the night. I had gotten into bed when I got a text from my brother in law telling me that he and Jena were on their way to the hospital.
In a way it’s fitting that I’ll be celebrating Lincoln’s 5th birthday with him over Skype because his first day of life was also celebrated over Skype. When Jena had been pregnant with Lily our mom and dad threw a baby shower when she visited the Christmas for her New Jersey friends and relatives. Because Lincoln was due in November my mom had come up with an different plan for this baby. She planned to have friends and family to her house on a random Saturday and then call Jena on Skype to talk and visit as well as show her the gifts that would soon come in the mail for her. The shower was scheduled for November 8, 2008. The text I got from Tim came in at 2 am November 8, 2008. I remember laughing at how perfect the timing was before rolling over and going back to sleep for a few hours.
Later that day I drove over to the hospital with my laptop and met my new nephew for the first time. To make the day even sweeter, everyone that came to my mom and dad’s house for the shower got to see him too!He was tiny little one wasn’t he!
Since that day life with Lincoln has been fabulous. I love being his Aunt. The joke in our family is that Lincoln doesn’t always take the best pictures. See below for a few examples.
But honestly I’ve always felt that the reason Lincoln can’t always be captured on film is because he is so full of life and energy that he doesn’t have time to stop for one minute! And too be fair, he can take some pretty decent pictures when he wants to.
When I think of Lincoln I think of how sweet and generous his heart it. Last year my sister severely injured herself while running a marathon. The family had just moved to a new house, Tim had two out of town trips happening almost back to back, and Jena couldn’t walk. So I came out for a few days to help out. The day I arrived, I walked upstairs where Lincoln after greeting me with a bear hug whispered in my ear “I’m so happy you’re here Aunt Nell.” The phrase melt your heart must have been invented for Linc. The kids came to visit for a few weeks this summer. We had a great time together. One day while sitting on the front porch swing Lincoln turned to me and said “Aunt Nell, I wish St. Louis and New Jersey were right next to each other so we could see each other all the time.” In a world that can often push a sense of hyper masculinity I love having a nephew who can create a mess with the best of them, but also express his feelings to those he loves in such an honest and unassuming way.
The other great thing about Lincoln? He’s hysterical. He always has a smile on his face and his giggle is infectious. He’s creative, kind, and loves books and puzzles.
Lincoln is turning five. I had to type it again because I still find it hard to believe. He was only a baby yesterday! As much as I’ll miss being there to celebrate in person, I’m so glad he gets to grow up having me just a Skype call away. On November 8th this year this will be the little face in my mind. It’s a quintessential picture that sums up who my nephew is without using any words.
He’s Lincoln. He’s my nephew. And he rocks.
Do you have a child in your life that just makes the day a little brighter? Tell us about them in the comments!