Doting on Charlie

Over the weekend I visited my sister and got to meet my three-week old niece. Her name is Charlise and they have been calling her Charlie. I secretly love calling her Charlie. She looks like a Charlie. Do not ask me to explain, as I will get defensive, just trust me, she is a Charlie. She is a feisty little one, even at three weeks. My sister always said she had a kicker, and she definitely lets her legs move or tighten at her own will. Especially when you change her diaper. She will tighten her little thighs (which I call chicken legs). She is very, very long for her size, has long feet, toes, and fingers, but the cutest thunder thighs (thus the chicken legs). When she does not want you to change her diaper (which hell must be new when you have just been pooping in the womb for all those months and now you have to wear a diaper). Anyway – she will tighten her legs/thighs and make it much, much harder to change her diaper. I love it. A fighter, which hopefully means she will tell it like it is, when she starts to babble and eventually talk. Right now, she communicates with her legs. My sister says she often kicks her while nursing. Little Charlie communicates in her own way.

Recently I came across this quote from Anne Lamott, and it made me think about how I felt today as I left my sister and my niece and boarded an airplane back to Portland:

“The depth of the feeling continued to surprise and threaten me, but each time it hit again and I bore it…I would discover that it hadn’t washed me away.”

Is that what it is like for most moms? I had a good afternoon yesterday. There was good energy in the office, but I kept thinking about my time with Charlie. Whatever it is, whether because she is so small and precious or because it is my sister’s daughter, I just feel such a strong connection to her. I will be there for her whenever she does not feel she can talk to her mom or dad (that is what aunt’s are for). I will be her “fun” aunt that teaches her all the sassy and fun things about life. I will pamper her, play with her, and above all else let her know that I am just another person in her life to love her to pieces. Hopefully I will not smother her with all my love for her, but that it will be just the right balance of spoiling her. Maybe I am making up for the fact that my parents are not here to dote on her. Even so I just want her to know how loved she is by her aunt and uncle regardless of the fact that we live on the north side of this country.

We already miss you tons, Charlie. We will be back soon.

Aunt T + Uncle C

2 thoughts on “Doting on Charlie

  1. Oh my goodness, thanks to Aunt T (as in auntie!), now Charlie has her own crowd of doting fans! That’s the most adorable picture — a big smile for a 3-week old — and of course she’s quite precocious. What a wonder babies are — each stage is the best until they move on to the next. But once they touch your heart, it’s forever.
    You and Chris are an important part of her life and that’s a huge blessing for Charlie and her parents.


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