This blog entry is a sequel to one that I wrote last December when I learned that the wife of my ex-husband’s nephew became pregnant with their first child. Here’s an update: she gave birth to a son named Eli just a few hours ago. For the past few months I’ve been seeing ultrasound pictures of the baby that the expecting mother posted on Facebook and it was through those ultrasounds that the couple learned the baby’s gender. Today I saw the first photos of a newborn Eli on Facebook and, so far, the baby seems fine and healthy. <Knock wood!>
Like I wrote in that last entry a few months ago, the news is bittersweet to me because that pregnancy came on the heels of my husband walking out on me for a friend of ours that he is now engaged to. (I had forgotten I had ever became Facebook friends with her over a year before the whole thing happened because she rarely posted there. Three days after I got the notice that my divorce became final, I saw that she made the rare status update to announce that she and my husband were engaged on August 22, 2012. Yes, they got engaged while my husband was still legally married to me.) I’m happy for the new parents but, at the same time, I’m sad that my husband and I are now divorced and we’ll never have a chance to celebrate this happy occasion together. (Heck, my ex-husband still refuses to speak to me like in the old days.)
Eli’s birth marks a sudden shift in his extended family’s structure. My sister-in-law and her ex-husband are now grandparents. My father-in-law is now a great-grandfather. His second wife is now the child’s step-great-grandmother. My ex-husband’s step-father is now the child’s step-great-grandfather. (Had my ex-husband’s mother not passed away from a stroke in 2010, she probably would be either on the phone or going out somewhere with her second husband bragging to anyone who would listen about how she is now a great-grandmother.) My ex-husband, his younger brother, and his step-siblings are now all great-uncles and great-aunts.
Had my husband not divorced me, I would’ve been considered to be the child’s great-aunt as well (albeit by marriage). If my ex-husband marries his fiancee, she’ll be known as the new baby’s great-aunt. I’ll admit it’s not fair since I remember when I sort of saw Eli’s father, although it was in utero, when there was a family reunion of all the extended family members on my husband’s mother’s side of the family in St. Louis and my sister-in-law was pregnant at the time. I saw Eli’s future father for real the first time when my husband and I attended his baptism in Rochester just a month after he was born. I saw Eli’s father grow up over the years and I was considered to be the boy’s aunt because I was married to his biological uncle. I could spend more paragraphs reminiscing about the time I got him hooked on playing Sonic the Hedgehog with the Sega Game Gear portable system I purchased for travel or how I managed to snag one of the hot Furby toys for the regular $30 retail price back in 1998 (when they were difficult to find and many black market dealers were selling them for at least $100 and some went as high as $300) only to have the 11-year-old kid shake it so hard that he temporarily messed up the electronic critter (luckily the Furby managed to be okay in the long run) or how I attended a few of his Little League baseball games or how I saw him sing in his middle school choral concert or how I once saw him play in his high school lacrosse team or the times my husband and I accompanied the boy to regional theme parks like King’s Dominion and Dorney Park or the extended family vacations we took in places like Canadaigua, New York or Estes Park, Coloroado or Ocean City, Maryland.
In short, I saw Eli’s father grow up while my ex-husband’s fiancee, who never knew Eli’s father as a child like I did, will be officially known as Eli’s great-aunt. I know it’s not fair but I don’t really want to dwell too much on it. Sometimes life is unfair and you just have to deal with it.
In any case Eli will be joining an already full house including not only his parents but also two dogs and a cat. If that’s not enough, Eli’s father, who’s serving in the U.S. Navy, has gotten his transfer orders so while the new parents are adjusting to their new baby son they will also have to pack up the entire house by August where they will move from their current home in Connecticut to Eli’s father’s new assignment in Charleston, South Carolina. So Eli won’t have any direct memories of his birthplace of New London. On the other hand, it’s kind of fitting about the new location because it was in Charleston where Eli’s parents met each other. Eli’s father was being trained as a nuclear engineer on base so he could serve on one of the Navy’s many nuclear submarines while Eli’s mother was a college student who worked part-time in one of Charleston’s many bars and restaurants.
So that’s it. This entry will be the last one I write about baby Eli for 2013 (and maybe the next couple of years afterwards) because I think his parents should be the ones to decide how much or how little they want to post about their baby. I’ll just end this entry by playing a video clip of this classic song by Three Dog Night: “Eli’s Coming.”