Yep, I'm officially an uncle to a blood relative. Not that I don't count all my pseudo nieces and nephews (kids of very close friends who refer to me as Uncle Mikey), but this is a bit different. I'm genetically linked to this newest member of the family. My sister Becky gave birth (sort of) to Sophia Elizabeth Alvarez on Sunday, September 20th, 2009.
Here is the new mommy and daughter. After a C-section birth (more on that to come) Mommy is all smiles. Clearly the result of legal drugs pumping through her system. After long hours of exhaustion, hard work, and then followed up by a surgery to retrieve this kid, a sober mom would look much more haggard. Way to go mommy! First moments with the child and she will be told about how her mom was high as a kite from the get go!
And here is a photo of the entire new Alvarez family. Lil Sophia, not looking all that pleased at the moment. Vic, all dressed up in a hospital provided sterile trash bag garment. And of course Becky still looped.
Becky of course has always been my little sister. Or, if you ask anyone else, I'm her brother...because God forbid I was ever given my own identity. Growing up, dad worked full time and mom worked a lot of part time jobs. So, a lot of days when mom either left for work, or just needed some rest from working the night before, Becky was forced to hang out with me and my friends. She was a blessing and a burden all at the same time. First thoughts were always along the lines of "Why do I have to drag her along when I want to play with my friends?" Oddly enough, I do this with my two sons now. Apparently parenting techniques are genetic and not a learned response, because growing up I was going to be a much better parent than my mom and dad were to us. As I get older, my wife occasionally refers to me by my dad's name. Somewhere in her odd little mind, she sees me turning into him, and does not hesitate to get her digs in whenever she can. Anyways...
Well, growing up in my neighborhood, you played football. That's how it was. The Neighborhood Football League was a staple amongst us boys. Beating each other up
mercilessly in the name of a sport was a requirement. On occasion, some of the kids would be gone for some reason or another, and there wasn't enough kids to play during a day. However that didn't stop my buddy Jay and I from co-opting his little brother and my sister from playing football with us. Of course when I say football, it was more like a game of smear-the-queer. And while we would run around having fun, it was usually at Becky's expense. We would "fumble" the football in her direction and had her convinced she needed to pick it up and run. (here's the blessing part of her hanging out with us) Of course, boys being boys, we commenced to tackling her just as hard as we would anyone else. Even though she threw the football away in sheer terror, she didn't realize we had a penchant for unsportsmanlike conduct of unnecessary roughness, 15 yard penalties be damned! She took it all in stride, mostly. The only time she tattled was the time I damn near broke her neck. It really was one of the biggest and best hits I ever delivered in my sports career!
I believe it was through this hardcore intensive training that I, as her big brother (and required to teach her about the hard knocks of life so that she might be able to survive the reality of life after living with Mom and Dad- excerpted from page 47 of the Big Brother Handbook) nurtured her into having a baby via C-section. The main lesson being: "If you drop the ball, you will still be punished. So make it worth it and hang on!" We boys all learned this lesson playing on the hallowed ground of the legendary Neighborhood Football League venue, Witte's Yard.
It took another 20some years for this big brother to be proud that she had learned this lesson. Late in the Pregnancy Bowl (Sponsored by Clear Blue Easy Digital Pregnancy Tests, and Doritos New Pistachio Flavored nacho chips), Becky had taken the ball and driven to the end zone in hopes of ending this game with a winning score. After making it all the way across the goal line in the biggest drive of her career as the last seconds ticked off the clock, she forgot the rules. (Luckily for her, time had expired and the penalty was after the play. Otherwise Team Fruit Salad might have gotten another chance to drive this game into overtime, with great field position after the kickoff.)
Instead of flipping the ball to the referee and joining the rest of the team for the victory celebration, she just wouldn't let go. It took a team of doctors to drug her up and TAKE the ball (baby) from her.
The official analysis, provided by the great team at ESPN 8 (The Ocho), was that she had tucked the ball (baby) so far into her gut, to avoid fumbling after any contact, that the ball (baby)had gotten stuck and lodged in behind her hip a bit. So instead of being able to flip the ball (still the metaphor for baby)away at the end of the play, they literally had to go in and retrieve the ball(yes, the baby..how many times do I need to clarify this?)
So after years of telling (yelling at) Becky: DON'T FUMBLE THE BALL!, we realized she took us a little too literally. How many times do I have to tell you, little sister, life isn't all about football?...sheesh, crack open a book or two on applied reasoning. DORK!
Now of course Becky is all grown up and and about to discover the world of motherhood as we welcome into the world Sophia, 21 inches long and weighing in as a featherweight at 6lbs 10 3/4 ozs. So she's tall, thin, and got one hell of a hair do already. Daddy, aka Vic is, quoted as saying, "She, of course, is cute as hell and we have already fallen in love." I can tell by these words he is definitely talking about his new daughter. I know his wife, so he couldn't have meant any of those words about my sister! (Just kidding Becky)
And now I, Uncle Mikey, have a lot of catching up to do. I have to retain the position of "Cool Uncle", and of course down the road, agree with Sophie's statements of mom and dad being such a drag. And of course inform her that her mother was a druggie when she was born, which explains why mom is such a nutcase now. And, that boys are evil, cootie-carrying dirtbags, who she needs to avoid until she's at least 30. I'm sure her dad will back that last statement up wholeheartedly.
Either way, it will be an interesting journey for all 3 of them. Good luck to the new mom and dad. You thought you've been worn out and tired before, but you haven't seen anything yet. I'll pray for you to get past the stage of New Parent Insanity, to the point where life is a bit more fun and Sophie can do more things to both frustrate and amuse you, often simultaneously.