Thursday, February 28, 2013

Turn of events

Note: This blog takes an unusual turn a little over halfway through. If that becomes confusing, then feel free to reach out to me personally to ask questions, but I don't know that I want to write about it anymore in this space for the time being.

Without even realizing the landmark occasion until just a moment ago, I'm happy to announce that this blog marks the 400th entry in The Songs of Spring (Note from after publication: I realize that I have two unposted blogs, so my entry total is only 398. I guess I'll have to come up with something great for the actual 400th!). It has been over a year since I started writing, over a month since I endeavored to stop and just a few weeks since I picked up again with regular daily entries. I don't think of this as a commitment anymore, but rather a place where I can let my mind run freely without fear of judgment, apathy, insult, stress or anxiety. It relieves all of my tension and it makes me feel good. Writing is a beautiful art - if you haven't done it in a while, you should try it sometime. I only have good things to say about it.

The entry I'm writing today isn't about blogging, though. It isn't about 400 days.

I figured since this is a special blog because of its high and especially divisible number, I should use it to a higher purpose.

Two years ago when my beautiful niece Sydney was born, I didn't have a blog. Though I've managed to write 400 entries, this blog has only actually existed for just over a year - so it has, in fact, not seen me through much of my life. As a reader, even if you went back and decided to read each and every entry, you still wouldn't have had a very thorough insight into everything that's happened to me in my 20 years. Try as a might to be thorough, to talk about a lot of aspects of my life, there's no such thing as a fully comprehensive autobiography.

Because I missed out on getting to write each day of my life, I figure when important occasions take place, it is my bounden duty to write about them. I missed on writing about Sydney's birth, so I will - as best I can - write about my new nephew's birth.

Unfortunately, I'm not in California right now and that is where my sister and brother-in-law's new baby will be coming into the world. I'm stuck in Illinois, waiting for a text or a phone call announcing his arrival, even then I know I won't get to meet him for over two weeks. I don't know that I can handle the anticipation.

I met my niece the day she was born. I had been over at my grandma's house that day and when I found out we had a new addition to my family, I was eager to meet her. In the evening, my brother-in-law met my dad and I in the hospital waiting room and snuck us inside my sister's room to meet the little baby Sydney. Her eyes barely opened, she was all pink and blotchy, her face was super round. She looked like a little blob - as all babies do. But a sweet, unaffected, beautiful little blob.

I instantly fell in love.

Since then I've spent countless hours with the little one. She's brought me joy and strife, a few scratches and a lot of laughs. She's a little ball of energy and a bundle of conflicting emotions.

But she's my little ball of energy. And my little bundle of conflicting emotions. Well, she's my sister's. But on days that I'm babysitting, those characteristics are mine to contend with.

Having the chance to babysit my little niece after her arrival in the world was a constant learning experience. In the beginning I could put her to sleep by setting her in her mechanical rocker for a few minutes. When she had outgrown that, I would try to sing her to sleep. Eventually I had to resort to rocking her in a rocking chair and reading her endless bedtime stories while she physically fought me, then giving up until she fell asleep in a ball on the floor.

Whenever I've had the chance to see her, to take care of her, Sydney has taught me new and valuable things. She's tested my patience. She's also made me a happier person.

Now she'll have a little brother. Without a doubt, he will be a crazy little rugrat. Hopefully the two will share some tendencies.

What I'm most excited about, though, is getting to relive and relearn the things that I discovered when Sydney was just a teeny infant. There was something so glorious about babysitting her while she sat mindless in front of a TV set. She couldn't crawl or even roll over in the early days and what a simpler job it was to take care of her then. The only problem I ever faced was watching SySy struggle when she would try to grab her bottle between her hands and it would inevitably fall on her face if I let go of it. I guess with that knowledge under my belt, I will no longer wondering whether or not my nephew can hold up a bottle on his own and just know that I need to do it for him. Until he's a few months older.

Unfortunately, I just had one of the biggest jolts of my life on the phone just now. And suddenly I feel my blog must take some sort of turn.

Though I eagerly await more information about my sister's labor progress - she's in the hospital now and should be giving birth at some point soon - I was just called by the same hospital where my sister is staying to be told that my grandma has injured her back and is in the hospital as well.

According to the nurse it's a minor issue, but seeing as I'm the only closely related family member to my grandma in the US, I got the first call. It scared me to bits.

So I have two things on my mind now. On one side is the anticipation for a new member of my family, on the other is hope that my grandma's recovery will be swift and that someone will be able to take care of her when I cannot.

This is when being on practically the other side of the country really starts to take its toll. It's been to the point lately that I've started to question how well I will bear my last few quarters at school near Chicago. The distance from people I love has made me lose relationships (i.e. romantic, not familial), feel distant from others and feel incredibly lonely by myself. I want to be able to reach out to some people, but I know they don't care to hear from me. And now I just feel lost.

I'm sorry for turning what was meant to be a joyous blog into something more emotional and depressing, but this actually characterizes my last few weeks pretty accurately. When something good is happening, something sad is there to squash it.

I hope my grandma is okay. And I hope my sister remains okay. If anything else goes wrong, I don't know how I will handle it.

I'm looking forward to a few weeks from now when I can be with the people I love again. Right now it's them that I need most and yet I'm stuck here by myself in my bedroom at a school that feels huge and busy and yet so alienating. It doesn't help that it's nearly midnight on a Thursday and there are some obnoxious drunk guys pacing my hallway and talking about Battle of the Bands.

I don't usually pray for anything, but tonight I'm praying that things just run smoothly for a while. I'm sick of everything going sour. If there is a higher power or karma or something else that can govern luck, please look over my family right now and make sure nothing else goes haywire. I want a baby nephew and I want a healthy grandma. I see no reason I have to trade one for the other.

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