Thursday, October 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Hailey!

First I must apologize for being absent from my blog this week. Actually, it was absent from me. Some technical problem (ugh!) was limiting my internet access, so this is the first time I've been able get on and write. So, technically, I wasn't absent from the blog, the blog was absent from me. But let's not split hairs. Today is a special day!

Hailey Pauline Constantine is two years old today! Wow, it seems like yesterday I got that text from Brad (which took me a while to figure out since it was the first text I had ever gotten!) saying "At the hospital". Then a few hours later, another text: "Starting to push". I remember sitting through Janelle's gymnastics class that evening, wondering what was going on, when we'd hear the news that little Sophie was finally here. In the car on the way home from the gym my phone rang, my little brother's voice saying "She's here, but she's not Sophie!" Good thing I didn't buy all that cute "S" monogrammed stuff! Wow, I was an aunt. Again. I couldn't wait to get to Saint John and get my hands on her! I didn't get to see her until the next day, when the kids and I rushed down to the hospital after school ended at lunch time. And, oh, the first time I held her I was in love all over again.

Isn't it amazing how we just immediately love those that are our own? As a parent I know that feeling on a whole other level, but it really is similar with nieces and nephews. I was sitting in the waiting room with my Mom and 19 month old Connor when Jillian entered the world. Seeing Connor's reaction to her made my experience of meeting her all the more special. The day Charlie was born I was a little preoccupied, only six days away from giving birth to Janelle. But he was there along with his mother and sister, my parents and grandmother, and Brad, when we brought our little girl home from the hospital. What fun we had passing those two babies around!

My kids have grown up right alongside their cousins, Jill and Charlie, despite never living in the same city. If you ask Connor or Janelle what they miss most about New Brunswick they will invariably tell you "Jill and Charlie". I love that they love each other so much. The girls are easily as close as sisters, and the boys, regardless of the 3 and a half year age gap, relish every moment of their time together. I love that, and I pray that time and distance doesn't change it. Unfortunately, we didn't have nearly enough time with Hailey before we moved. She was pretty wary of me when I first came home to visit this summer, but I did my best to win her over. I think I was successful to some extent. We bonded over snacks, and I did get some voluntary snuggles. But I know that now, two months later, she doesn't remember us. It is one of the hardest things about being away, knowing that she doesn't know who we are and how much we love her.

But technology, although frustrating at times, is a wonderful thing. I get to see pictures of Hailey all the time on Facebook, so I can still watch her growing up even so far away. When we finally install a webcam we can even talk to her, face to face, so she can begin to recognize us. Time flies way too quickly! I don't want to miss any of it!

Happy birthday, my sweet Hailey P! I wish so much we could be at your party Saturday. And happy birthday to your Mommy and Daddy, Jody and Brad, too. Birthdays are special days for parents, too, as we look back and think about how blessed we've been. We will be thinking of all of you today, and on Saturday! Aunt Nan loves you all so much!

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