Kensi Mae.

If you had told me two years ago that I would love my niece as much as I do, I wouldn’t have believed you.  I certainly thought I would love her.  I’d cleared her a nice little berth of expectant love, and if you’d every explained to me how much of my soul she would command, I would remind you that A.) I am dead inside and small souled and B.) as the saying goes, you can’t grow an oak tree in a thimble.

This is, generally, how I feel about grownups and babies both.  

And I was hoping she’d be a boy.  There I said it.  A girl would force me to face my complicated issues around femininity.  What if she liked barbies?  What if she didn’t like ponies?  Could I find her a Amelia Earhart costume that involved a tutu?  Was that an insulting question?  Would I be the weird aunt if I gave her dino stuff and a sword?

The anticipation built.  I lived with my brother and sister in law then, and every day for the last month I came home and said “BABY?” to Bethany, as if she’d casually driven to the hospital, delivered a baby, driven home and forgotten to take it out of her purse, all in the last ten hours.  Bethany, swollen with babyhood, never once hit me for doing this.  She is a fucking saint.

And then came that weird wild wonderful morning she was born.  I got the news that she was on her way while I was sleeping over at my friend Helena’s, and sometime during an ultra rare (in San Diego) summer thunderstorm, we both headed to the same hospital.


Hello perfect.

I was not in any way prepared for her.  I mean, I’m generally unprepared for life.  I actually used the word “vagina-mangled” to my sister in law.  In my defense I said, “she’s not vagina-mangled at all!” but still.  Bethany still talks to me.

I held Kensi and found myself telling her I’d buy her a barbie.   And ice cream, and a pony.  I had this sudden desperate need for her to like me.


You are learning to breath earth air. I would appreciate it if you would evaluate the relative merits of me being open to underage tattoos versus your mother’s sister living closer to Disneyland.

I realized soon after that I loved her, like a cavern had opened up in my chest except that instead of space, there was just a big airy space in my body devoted to buying her fluffy tutus.

So that’s my life now.  I become medically unhinged when my sister in law sends me pictures.  Sascha says I become a series of guttural noises.  I will fight anyone who suggests she’s not the most perfect creature ever spawned.

6 5 4 3 2 1 7

I mention all this to say, I’m not ready for them to have another one.
But they are.

Going to have another one, that is.


I am wrecked.


And I’d better get ready for my heart to grow 16 more sizes.


One thought on “Kensi Mae.

  1. I hear you. As one of my favorite authors wrote, “(my love for my nephew) was like a cartoon anvil falling on my cartoon head.”.
    My own personal anvil (Andrew) graduated from high school yesterday. And I am still as silly about him and his little sisters as the day they were born. Totally sideswiped me. Didn’t expect it. Yet, there it is.

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