I became an aunt again a week ago – Sienna Ruth. This is two of her excited cousins welcoming her home. Sienna has been born into a huge extended family with fifteen cousins, and oodles of aunts and uncles and grandparents. And this is just on the Condie side. Then she has an older brother and sister. Welcome to the world Sienna!
I spent five days with this family to look after Jaden and Talia while their Mum went to hospital. What a humbling and exhausting experience. Their boundless energy made me feel decidedly old and flabby.
It reminded me that parents need many skills to keep up with their busy children. Skills in negotiating, to avoid major international incidents – those tantrums over the pink cup, the Ipad, the use of the toilet, a singing voice happy to make oneself look completely ridiculous as you sing while pushing them on a swing – again and again – “please Auntie Sarah” as they roar with laughter. It helps to be filled with patience, gentleness and kindness as these will be severely tested – and when you fail, the ability to say “sorry” and scoop them up in your arms for one cuddle, two cuddles, three cuddles until you feel all run out of cuddles. I laughed often – at them and with them. I collapsed into bed at night completely exhausted, hoping they would sleep in, that I would sleep in, wishing that daylight saving was not starting, and wondering if the rain would go away so we could play outside. Parents of small people are awesome people – much is required and much is demanded. They are the unsung heroes in my estimation.
While Sienna was being born at the hospital we had a picnic by the lake in the wind. We found a bridge with gushing water rushing underneath and waves crashing onto the grassy edge. We spent minutes and minutes standing there, shouting and watching the energy of the water and wind. Then they would run into the wind – excellent for letting off steam. Then we went home and jumped and jumped on the trampoline until we had run out of jump and flopped exhausted in front of the Wiggles. If only I had the energy levels necessary to keep up with these two. I did it once, but my baby is 18 and about to sit his HSC. Where did that time go. But more importantly, where did my energy go?
The arrival of a new baby is a time of survival and creativity and a time for much rejoicing at new life and new relationships. Welcome to our family Sienna Ruth! Already you are loved and cherished.