I’m babysitting for my nephew today, like I do every Wednesday, and he’s having a hard time of it. I think he might be getting sick. His mom is suspicious of sickness, too, thinking he slept a bunch this morning probably in an attempt to fight off whatever ails him.
Now, he’s been wailing and moaning for over a half an hour as I go back into his nursery telling him, “I love you…I love you…”
When I enter he smiles and giggles. He crawls to the back of his crib and gives and impish grin. I feel fooled. I pick him up, and he clings to me, hoping I won’t put him back down. But I do. And he cries. And I tell him I love him again. Then, I shut the door only to hear his scream pierce through the baby monitor in the living room.
He’s a good kid, really. My sister and her husband are very lucky. Hell, I’m very lucky. I get to spend every Wednesday afternoon with the tyke, wrestling, playing, tossing him in the air, feeding him, and putting him down for a nap. Usually. This is the second time in over a year of sitting with him he’s not gone down, and I’m about to give up this fight. Go in and let him roam wild. Live for another day, another nap, another time.
But, my sister and her family are moving to Maplewood, NJ at the beginning of October, and I wonder how much time I’ll get to spend with him after they move. How many more naps will there be? How quickly will he grow up? Will he be talking by the time I see him next? I don’t want to miss important moments in his life, even if he is only my nephew.
His other uncle lives in Nashville, TN. I asked my brother-in-law (the other uncle’s brother) how he’s doing down there.
“He’s good,” he replies. “I think he misses the baby, though.”
I’m sure he does. I guess I’ll count myself fortunate they’ll only be 1 1/2 hours away by train, rather than several hours by airplane. I remind myself I don’t really need to worry about next month yet. I’m here, he wants to be up, and he wants to be with me. Maybe he senses our weekly time together is coming to a close. Maybe he’s just coming down with something.
Whatever the case, I just keep reminding myself I’m just fortunate to have today.
Ironically, as I wrote this, he fell asleep.