Two years ago tonight your Aunt Katie was having a pretty big day. She took a private plane with the Chief Marketing Officer of a great big shoe company to New York for a big party she planned to open a very cute little store in SoHo. It was a very cool party and all kinds of fancy people from trendy magazines came and danced and drank lots of free beers and told us how darling our store was. I kept my blackberry close that night because I was waiting for some other big news as well. I was in the middle of a conversation when I felt the vibration of phone in my pocket. A message from my sister, "larrybird is here!"
I imagine your parents have told you that we called you larrybird for most of the time your momma was growing you. I had to go right back to that party and pretend that I was glowing over sneakers and rubber boots but for about ten minutes, I stood on a street corner in Manhattan and thought about how I would never forget that moment and how someday I would get to tell you that you managed to upstage one of the major milestone days of my career.
You are turning two today and it seems like pretty much everything is different than it was when you were born. You got a little brother, a cousin, and a new uncle. All your dad's siblings AND several of your grandparents have moved to new cities or houses or jobs. Maybe you were the catalyst for a lot of nice things happening to so many of us. You were progress Morgan. A brand new invention, something we'd never had in our family before. And now there are more little Clifford babies for us to adore and overphotograph and brag about, but you will always be our first.
I found out what a nephew was in kindergarten when my friend Ryan, whose brothers and sisters were all VERY OLD, brought one for Show and Tell. I was the oldest so it seemed like it would be a long time before we had any in our own family. In the meantime, every human being I knew became and aunt or uncle and blabbed on and on about how great nieces and nephews were. Now I like kids just plenty but I was always just a little suspect about how great they could really be. And then I met you. And i haven't been able to stop buying tiny LeBron James high tops and stuffed monkey's and miniature hoodies for you. You and your cousin are the background on my phone, your face is all over my fridge, you are in more frames in my house than your parents are.
You have plenty of people there in Utah who love you and I know when I come around it's always a struggle to remember who I am and to figure out why I seem to like you so much. I had a different kind of crazy day at work today, in Denver, not New York. But I got funny texts from your Grandma and called your dad and saw a photo of the fabulous cake your mom made for your big day. It's funny for me to think about you running around Murray Park today-completely oblivious to how many people adore you and have all kinds of dreams and hopes for you.
So on your second birthday, indulge me a few auntie style wishes.
-I hope you keep demanding that your parents let you watch the US Open on The Golf Channel
-I hope when you start talking, your miraculously have a slight spanish accent
-I hope you learn to dribble before you learn how to read
-I hope one day you will sing "hot dog hot dog hot diggity dog" on my voicemail
-I hope that your Aunt Emily posts photos from your birthday party before I am dead
Mostly Morgan, I hope you know how lucky we are that you came to our family. I love you so much that I say ridiculous things like "i want to eat that baby!" when I get photos of you. You have reduced me to the personification of every dumb aunt cliche and I don't even care. I post photos of you, I show people funny videos of you acting like a chicken, I squeeze you to pieces when I see you even though you look at me like I'm a space alien.
I love you Morgan, and it thrills me to my toes that I get to be your Aunt for pretty much the rest of forever. Happy happy birthday you little weasel.