Yesterday we had the pleasure of introducing ourselves to the newest member of our family –
Kole David Libby
What a treat! It’s always so wonderful to celebrate a birth. I know what you’re thinking…you’ve been an Uncle 14 times, and this is your third time getting to be a Great Uncle – why wait until now to write about it? One reason, and one reason alone – this is the first time I’ve become a Great Uncle AND had my own website!
New life is special. It’s a renewing sense of wonder. How appropriate for it to occur this time in the spring of the year. It would only be made better by the weather being spring-like.
The job of Uncle is an important one. You get to sit in that sweet spot between parent and friend. Like a parent, you usually have cash, a home, and a car. Like a friend, you get to be a confidante, a pal, a sympathetic ear. I have always taken the role seriously. I find my niche is making sure the nieces and nephews are exposed to things they normally might not be as children of the late 90s and beyond – Beatles, Queen, Zeppelin… classic movies like Jaws, Shining, Great Outdoors! I take them to midnight movie premieres, to sushi restaurants, and to the tops of mountains.
Kole marks an interesting milestone for me because my very first invitation to an event on Beth’s side of the family was to Ashley’s (Kole’s mother) first birthday. I tell you, I fell in love with that little girl at first sight. There weren’t a lot of babies around in my family growing up, so this crash course in infants was strange for me. I knew right then and there that I would be there for this little girl until the end of my days. I remember the years when I carried her around (wherever I went), when she came to visit Beth and I in the college dorms (for days on end), and how I was lucky enough to attend college less than two hours from her home. We got to visit with her and her siblings more than our other, more remote kiddos. I got to watch her grow up, make friends, become a cheerleader, date boys, and finally discover who she is and who she wants to be – then fall in love and have a beautiful little baby of her own. It’s something quite special.
Sadly, with hectic lives and busy schedules and three kids of my own to watch over and teach Queen songs to, I probably won’t get to be as big a part of Kole’s life as I have been lucky enough to be in Ashley’s, but I will make sure he knows that he always has a place to stay at my house, a friend to listen should he want to talk, and a full DVD collection for when he’s ready for Kubrik.
So, when I finally got out of work and grabbed the kids from home, we headed on down to Eastern Maine Medical Center where Beth had been waiting with two of her sisters all day.
We only had to wait an hour or so before Kole was born, and a little longer until it was our turn to go see him. Obviously, he’s gorgeous!
For Beth, who grew up with three sisters and an enormous collection of nieces, nephews, and cousins of all ages, Kole represents another little soul to envelope in her special brand of unconditional Aunt-love. I didn’t do the best job of capturing the adoration in her eyes with my iPhone camera in a darkened labor/delivery room, but it’s there. Trust me.
For Jacob, Kole represents another chance to glimpse and grab a slice of the miraculous mystery that is life and babies. He, of course, thinks the kid’s name is “Cold”, but true to form, doesn’t question that for a minute.
Olivia, blossoming little woman and sweet, sweet, maternal spirit, sees Kole as another chance to ask questions and gain further insight into the newly-opened world of pregnancy, labor, delivery, and motherhood. Her understanding grows almost daily, and I’m sure she’s anxiously awaiting being old enough to babysit.
For Gabe, I have no idea. He’s kind of like a kid in a land where things are shiny and wonderful, but not yet fully understood and as such, are confusing and sometimes frightening. He’s intrigued by the little guy, but as an 8 year old boy, I don’t really think he’s sure where he fits in. He’s excited for sure, don’t get me wrong!
I guess I’ll close there. Picture me, sitting at my keyboard, basking in the glow of memories with my nieces of nephews, while simultaneously hoping my knees hold out long enough to bring this next generation to to the top of Katahdin when they’re ready in a dozen years or so.
Happy Birthday Kole! Welcome to the planet.