A year ago, when my little cousin Liam was born, I wrote about feeling a little dead inside. I found myself disinterested in the child because of the distance I felt between his mother and I. Valerie, Liam’s mother/my cousin, had been somewhat of a big sister to me in my eyes for much of my life, and here I was saying that I feel no connection whatsoever to her child. It really made me sad.
As the year went by there was little change. We spoke on the phone once or twice and I told her how I felt. Of course there is always the excuse that life is hectic, and I understand that it is sometimes, but that excuse can only be used but so many times. I still felt the distance. I still felt entirely left out.
Valerie would send pictures of the baby growing up surrounded by all sorts of people. I would routinely ignore them all. When she started making plans to come to New York I did not feel the same level of excitement that I would have before. I did not even know what to think about meeting her baby. Liam was almost like a complete stranger to me in my mind.
Many people tried to tell me that I would feel different as soon as I saw Liam. All the petty things would cease matter once I got to hold him and play with him. My simple answer to that was “bullshit”. The way I felt, I just could not believe that would be the case. Things just don’t get fixed that quickly.
About a week ago Valerie finally arrived in New York City with Liam. I didn’t even see her for the first two days she was here. I had things to do. She did not seem too pleased with me because of that, but she did not make a big deal of it either.
On the third day I finally made it over to see her and the baby. It was then that I found out that I was totally wrong. This is the part where I eat my words.
As soon as I met this kid I felt a connection with him. He is so full of personality, it was impossible not to. I don’t know if he felt the same type of thing, but he was talking to me and seemed to be pretty comfortable with me from the get go. There was absolutely no mistaking that this kid was my blood.
As for Valerie she was really great with me once we were actually together. I felt like she really was trying to give me a chance to bond with Liam. She called me to come with her when she was putting him to sleep, she encouraged the baby to go to me. It was really cool.
So it seems that things are not always as messed up as they seem. I mean they are not the way I wish they were, but how often are things the way we wish they were? I don’t know how this will all pan out from here. I don’t know if she continues to make an effort to include me in Liam’s life. All I know for sure is that I really want to be a big part of his life, which is a stark contrast from a year ago.