So my niece Ally Rose arrived in the world today. My elated 4-year-old nephew AJ delivered the news to me on the phone: "Ally's here!" 7-pounds-3-ounces and 20 inches, just like her brother was. Dark blue eyes and "absolutely gorgeous" (or so says Grandma). My mom also says Ally seems to hang on her big brother and mother's every word, almost looking like she's ready to just join in the conversation if she could just come up with something to say from her four-hour-old vocabulary. I'm so happy for Jennifer and her husband. It's been a rough pregnancy for my sister -- and naturally we're all very relieved that she got through it safely and that Ally is healthy.
AJ is three years younger than I was when my little sister was born (his mom), but I hope he remembers how he feels today -- the way I still remember Jenn's birth like it was yesterday. I had just turned 7 when my sister entered the world in the summer of '74 and it was love at first sight. I quickly volunteered to babysit her every chance I had. My mom remembers that when I figured out that our age difference would ensure that we never attended school together I quickly announced that I planned to be held back a grade so I could be with her.
I don't know what it's like to have a big sister or a little brother, but I can't think of anyone I'd rather have had in my life more than my little Jennifer. Sweet, beautiful and the most hilarious person around, Jenn is my favorite. I'm guessing Little AJ will soon, too, realize the joys of having a little sister. Michael and I are planning a trip home to meet the newest member of the family next month and I can hardly wait to get there!