January was a special month for us – it meant taking a much-anticipated trip to Virginia and meet, at last, our sweet new nephew and Godson, Connor.
I tease Dan that I wouldn’t have married him if it weren’t for his older sister, Liz. Though I jest, there is a modicum of truth to the joke. Naturally as an only child I longed for a sister. But I knew also that the only opportunity for our children to have an aunt, uncle, and cousins was through my husband’s family. Together, Liz and I have gone from girlfriends, to fiancés, wives, and now, mothers. She took me under her wing even before Dan and I were engaged, including me in a family picture in her wedding, and later, serving as my Matron of Honor in my own.
It goes without saying (but I will anyway), that our lives felt doubly blessed when we found out Liz and her husband, Eric, were expecting their first child due six weeks after Walter. We received an ultrasound snapshot from them (shortly after sharing that we were pregnant) on April 1st‑ of last year. To my delight, we weren’t being fooled, and our family was now, expecting cousins.
We asked each other to be Godparents to our children, and everything seemed to be coming together beautifully, especially since Dan and I were still stationed in Virginia near Liz and Eric. Liz and I watched our bellies grow, lives change, and together began the journey of motherhood. When Dan and I received his orders to California for October, we had a mix of emotions. As elated as we were to be heading to my “home” on the West Coast, it meant moving before Walter and our nephew were born. We would be missing sharing this final chapter of pregnancy and new chapter of parenthood together.
As expected, Walter was born in early October, and Connor arrived like clockwork on his due date: Thanksgiving Day. There was a quirky parallel between us, as Connor was born less that 24 hours after Walter’s first open heart surgery, which left both our new families sharing Thanksgiving in our respective hospitals on opposite coasts.
It took us until January, but we finally shared our new chapter together when we visited for a joint Baptism and ceremony in Virginia. At long last, we held each other’s babes, and Grandma “Mitten” enjoyed her two grandsons under one roof. The main event was Baptism for Connor, and a “Welcoming Ceremony” for Walter, who was Baptized at birth in the hospital. Sharing the Sacrament together – as parents, Godparents, and at last as a family, was just about as fun as it was monumental.