Exploring Oregon 2009

Exploring Oregon 2009

Monday, July 26, 2010


Loving on my day old Nephew
I got the news sometime last Fall that my sister was pregnant.  I had known that they had started trying earlier in the year, and for a while, I had some mixed feelings about this.  First, she is my younger sister.  Younger by three years.  She is my only sister, and therefore will always be my 'baby' sister.  It seems that in the last five years she has grown up so much, and it has even seemed that she was in a hurry to grow up, and that at times has been a little hard for me.  She got engaged a few months after I did, but beat me to the alter by almost exactly five months.  Not a big deal, but was a little strange, again being that she was my younger sister.  It made me feel like I was a little behind for not getting married sooner, although I know this is completely ludicrous.

The new family
Then I hear talk that they are thinking about starting a family.  Oh Lord.  First they buy a new car, and not just any new car but a brand new Honda CRV.  It's a great little car, and when I ask why they decided to go with that particular car, the list they gave me had more to do with having kids than anything else.  Oh boy.

On a side note, it was about this time that I threatened my sister to come and visit me in Oregon.  I officially moved to Bend in May of 2007, and I wasn't even in town a week before my Mom and Sister made a trip out to visit me.  My Mom has managed to come and visit again with my Dad last summer, but my sister has not come back since.  Her husband even has a brother who lives down the road from me, and even between the two of us, we have not convinced them to come and visit.  So when I find out that they have decided that they want to start a family, I told my sister that she was NOT allowed to have a baby until she came to Bend, because after that point, it would become beyond impossible for them to visit.  Okay, it is far from 'beyond impossible,' but being that I've been trying to get them out here for years to no avail when their pets were their only responsibility, having a child to worry about traveling with seems to make the idea of them making the trip pretty hopeless.  Anyway, it becomes apparent that my threats don't hold any salt, because the next thing I know, they are pregnant. 

Mommy & Brodie meeting for the first time
So at this point, I have all SORTS of emotions going on.  First, I'm extremely excited about the prospect of becoming an Aunt.  How fantastic will that be!  Neither Jason nor myself is ready to have kids yet, so having someone else in the family to have them for us to play with is great!  Second, I'm feeling a little bit old and behind the times that my baby sister is going to have a baby...before me.  Not really something to get worked up about, but I did stop and examine my life a little.  I took stock of all my high school and college friends who already have toddlers, infants or were pregnant (some with their second child) and it made me feel like I was dragging my feet in that I don't have plans to have a kid anytime soon.  I also looked around my neighborhood and realized that we are basically the only young couple without kids.  Hmmmm.  I started to freak out a little because I know that there are things I need and want to do (like get my architectural license) before starting a family, but I had this sense that I was running out of time.  I had read once that it was beneficial to the female body to have your first child by the age of thirty.  I had always thought that I would have my first by thirty...until I got to age 26 or so and realized that 30 was NOT that far off.  When I got married at 27, I had already come to terms with the fact that I would not have kids by 30, and was fine with that.  In the last year or so, I've decided however, that I want to have kids sooner than later.  I don't want to be an old and uncool mother.  I don't want to be too old to enjoy my freedom when the kids are old enough to move out of the house.  On the other hand, I had hoped to do more traveling before starting a family, but due to financial responsibilities, traveling has been placed on a back burner.  You can still travel with kids...right?  Okay, maybe the backpack tour of Europe is out, but is flying to New Zealand too much?  Time will tell I suppose.  Anyhow, this is a whole other subject matter that I may or may not touch on at a later time.  To sum things up, I suppose that I was a little jealous of my sister and my friends for being at the point where they are ready and wanted to be parents.  I know I want to be, but I just don't feel ready yet, and I'm beginning to wonder if the time will ever come that I will truly feel ready.

Me and my hour old Nephew.  Welcome Broderick!
Third and lastly, I'm feeling a little sad/angry that my request for them to visit before having a baby was thrown to the wayside.  I know that my sister's life doesn't revolve around my wishes, but I've seriously been living here for over three years now, and the only time I ever see them is when I come to visit them.  I know the drive isn't fun, and I know that it takes time, but I do it because I want to see my family.  It really isn't that hard.  You just have to pick a weekend, plan to take off early that Friday and get on the road.  You get into Bend late Friday night and you have all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon to hang out before hitting the road around 2 or 3pm to head home.  Yes, it's a short visit, but it's something.  I can't say how many times I've done it.  If you really want to make a trip out of it, you take Friday and Monday off and make it an extended weekend.  Is it too much to ask that you take one or two days off work a year to visit??

New Mother, Grandmother and Baby
After bringing this up, my sister says that they will probably not be able to visit before having the baby because she was saving up all her vacation time to tack onto her maternity leave after the baby was born.  So then I am told they will come visit during that time.  Yeah right I think, but I can't help but let a small part of me get really, really excited at the prospect of it.  Needless to say, she goes back to work in about two weeks, so I gave up and am going to visit them the weekend before she starts work.

Great Grandma, Auntie Summer and Brodie
So those are my mixed emotions.  More than anything, I'm stoked to be an Aunt and am so, SO happy for my sister and her husband, but there is a little jealousy and sadness mixed in as well.  On top of this is the horrible feeling that I'm missing out on my nephew's youth by living so far away.  It would be one thing if they came to see us half as much as we go to see them.  Then I would see him every couple of months or so, but this is not the case.  I flew home to see him born back in May and when I go home in a couple weeks, this will be the first time I've seen him since, and he's already doubled in size.  I really truly want to be a great Aunt, but at this point, I'm beginning to fear that this child will really have no idea who I am, and this is by far the worst feeling of all.


  1. My little sister (4 years younger than me) had 3 kids before I had one. I totally understand the jealousy/sadness. You'll feel better after you have one... even if it is years after your sister starts her family. Once he is big enough, you'll be able to talk to him on the phone and you'll be the best auntie out there. And there is always webcams and all of that great technology so that you can see him grow up without having to travel there so often. And honestly... there is no being totally ready to have a kid. Noone has their life completely together, has all of the traveling done that they want to do, or has everything in place before they have a kid. It's all about what works for you. :) No ticking clock. Just a lifetime of excitement whenever you choose it.

  2. Yes Summer you can travel with kids! Tony and I were just saying Aliyah has traveled more in her life then the two of us ever did before we were like teenagers or older. It's not always pleasant but it can still happen. You can even travel WITHOUT the kids! =)

    Moving away was so hard, to take Aliyah away from her grandparents and her cousins, (and everyone else) but we skype a lot and that helps.


  3. I feel you, Summer. I'm the only one out of my three sisters who isn't married or breeding. I don't regret my choice to focus on school and then career, but I do feel a twinge of jealousy when I see they have something that I realize now I really want. It'll happen. You're right in waiting. I don't think anyone is ever really ready, but you definitely know when you're not.
    I also understand what it's like to not see your nieces and nephews as much as you'd like. I think I've settled into the fact that I'm just eccentric Aunt Christine from the city now, but it's no fun to feel like you have to get to know them all over every time you see them. I've definitely tried harder when my younger sister had her baby and I've seen it pay off. Being an aunt is awesome and when you work hard at it, it can be a very special kind of relationship:)

  4. Summer, my sister (seven years younger than I) has THREE kids already, and as you know, I have none. Don't even want any. I'm completely off the hook- no pressure from the parents anymore, because they have plenty of grandkids already. And, I feel much better knowing that I am not contributing to the overpopulation issue that most seem to ignore. So, its not all that bad. I highly recommend you get your licensure ASAP, however! -Rachel

  5. Well sweetie, I can tell you that no time is the right time to have a baby. But that all babies are a little blessing. Even surprises like my Katya and Logan.

    They change your life forever and give you a perspective of the world that just don't get to experience otherwise.

    You can travel with kids. It just isn't as far. You drive more and fly less. No biggie.

    But you are very goal oriented and you just need to get that license so you can open your time up for a little bundle of cuteness all your own. Then tell your sister to put her kid in the car and drive over. If I can make the trek to San Diego and back every year, she can drive from Idaho. :)

  6. I had my first child at 18 (pregnant at 17) and I'm ALWAYS jealous when I read posts from my friends about going on vacations, or having nights out or whatever. I left home at 16, got pregnant at 17, was a mom at 18, and then a mother of 2 at 20. It was not easy. I think whenever you feel ready to have a baby, that's the right time. Whether you do it at 30 or do it at 40 is irrelevant. Once you are a mother, there is no feeling on earth like it. Those things like vacations and traveling don't seem as important anymore, and having a baby doesn't tie you down as much as it would seem to. I've done the 16 hour (one way) trip from Denver to Coeur d'Alene and back with my kids *alone* at least 8 times. It can be done!


  7. Thanks for the comments and encouragement everyone. I really appreciate it. I guess I should explain a little more that I understand that there is NEVER a good time to have a baby, but when I say I wonder if I'll ever truely be ready, I mean ready to the point where I want to start trying. Right now, I am not to the point where I feel ready and want to start trying (which I'm sure Jason is happy to hear) but am jealous of those who have been able to say 'Yes, we want to start a family and physically trying to get pregnant.' Right now I just can't see myself feeling that way, and being confident about it anytime real soon, but I know I don't want to wait too much longer. Everytime I see a baby, I melt and get excited to have one of my own...someday. And while I feel like someday should be sometime soon, I'm not ready to take the plunge quite yet. That is what I worry about and am jealous of...those who are confident is saying 'Let's take that plunge.' Will I ever be ready to say 'I'm ready.' Part of me feels like I should already be ready, and I wonder what the heck is holding me back. My love for sleeping in? Traveling? Yes and yes...but it's more than that I think, but I can't pin down exactly what. These are the thoughts that keep me up at night.

  8. You are going to be the BEST Mom EVER whenever you and Jason decide you are ready....or as ready as anyone can really be.
    I remember growing up you always taking care of and looking after me - you have a definite knack for mothering.
    I know I have been horrible about coming to visit and feel really bad about it. I realize especially now after reading this, that I could have and SHOULD have made a much greater effort. My trip would just take a little longer with the pumping/feeding pitstops I would have to make. :)
    I dream about the thought of our kids growing up together - who knows, maybe someday you'll open your own firm in Cd'A or somewhere close by.
    Anyways, I love you tons and am soooo looking forward to seeing you next weekend, even if you are AGAIN the one who is having to make the trip. Brodie and I can't wait to hang out with Auntie Summie!! :) XOXO

  9. Summer-
    Living so far away from family is so hard. I know, it is part of the reason we moved back. However, having done both (lived hours away and down the block) I have realized that it will not make your nieces/nephews love you any less or vice versa. As far as getting to know your niece each time you see her, I have to get to know my niece every day and she lives down the street. Plus now you get to be the special treat they don't get everyday. This is the different between having your name squealed in excitement every time you walk in the door and getting a brief "hey" as they continue playing their computer games as you walk in the door. Even if you lived at home, you never know where your sister and her husband's lives are going to take them. They may have to move away too. I know it is sad sometimes but for now try to enjoy the squeals, the hugs and kisses, getting to spoil her because, after all, you don't get to see her everyday, and most of all, the knowledge that when she gets tired and cranky and starts to scream, you can just go home:)

    P.S. Having kids is like jumping into cold lake water. You know you really want to but you are never really ready for it. Just take a deep breath and jump in.

    Hang in there,