On Friday evening I finally met my niece. She is almost six months old and because of the pandemic, this was the first opportunity for me to see her in person. It was a kind of surreal experience. I think most people have had much less human contact in the last year and a half but here I was on Friday, holding an adorable baby in my arms. It’s been years since I had a chance to hold a baby.
It must have been a surreal experience for my niece too. I was probably the sixth person (not counting nurses and doctors) to hold her in her entire life. Up until last Friday, she had spent her entire life living on Vancouver Island. During the same evening, she also saw my parents (her grandparents) for the first time. So many new faces and places to take in for her.
My niece only tolerated being in my arms for about a minute before she decided the situation was too odd for her since it wasn’t either her Mom or Dad who was holding her. It didn’t matter that my sister was standing right next to me and telling her it was ok. I hand to her over to my sister before she started wailing too much. That’s ok, I’m still a stranger to her and I’ll slowly win her over.
For six months or so, I’ve seen pictures of my niece but it was something entirely different when she was actually in my arms, kicking her powerful tiny legs, looking up at me with a slightly suspicious demeanor. I’m going to try to be the best uncle for her. I’m not sure exactly what that will entail but I will do my best to find out.