Dear Jacob

Dear Jacob:

Hey! Hi! Yesterday afternoon when I got home from doing errands downtown I had the following message on my machine, intoned in a deep, manly voice: “Eight pounds, seven point six ounces, 21 inches. Catch you later.” I was momentarily confused. Was it Dilettante Chocolates calling to reward me for my devotion to their products with an extra-gigantic Gold Bar? Delta Airlines letting me know the exact dimensions of the wad of cash it would require to change my flight plans? Oh, right. No, none of the above. It’s that your dad was calling to tell me that it was your birthday…your real, actual Birth Day. Congratulations on getting born. I’m thrilled you’re here.

I haven’t spoken to your mom yet about how your birth went, although I’ve been on the phone with a few of your various Key Girl aunties and uncles…by the way, we still haven’t figured out a term for the Key Girl husbands and kids. Saying “Key Boys” sounds sort of weird. “Key Babies” is better, I think, but what are we going to do when you and your Key Cousin are fifteen or so? Call you “the Key Adolescents?” I have no idea. I guess we have some time to figure that out, but still. I worry. Anyway, I’m a little more used to the idea of one of my dear friends having a baby by now, although the whole thing still feels sort of strange. I’m guessing it will get less so, as we all ease into our thirties and I stop harboring illusions that I am actually twelve. Whether that milestone will be accompanied by my acting as if I’m no longer actually twelve is sort of still up in the air.

But that’s not the point. Point is, you’re my sweet friend’s son, and as such, I love you unreservedly. Right now, at this very moment, it’s mostly because I love your mom so much (and who doesn’t?). I mean, I haven’t even met you yet. I am sure that as you begin to grow and develop and become a little person and then a slightly bigger person wearing hilariously baggy pants (unless boys aren’t wearing those by the time you get to middle school. Well, maybe you’ll wear them to Nineties’ Day or something), I’m going to love you not just because of who your parents are but because of who you are. I’m pretty excited to watch that, even from afar, all the way out here on the West Coast.

It’s hard to write about your best friend’s baby without getting super sappy and weeping all over your keyboard, you know. I have written and deleted about eight paragraphs about how it’s a weird time to be born and how babies are a symbol of new hope and also how I still can’t believe that a woman I have known since I was eight had an actual person in her belly for nine months and that that person has turned out to be you and all of that. I love your mom and your whole family, who have very graciously included me in their lives for a long time now (one time I’ll tell you about going to Fisher Island and the manatees, I promise), and now you’re here and so I love you too, as I mentioned above. That’s what’s important right now, right?

So, anyway. Can’t wait to see you in a couple of weeks. Probably you aren’t going to want to come to watch The Return of the King the weekend I get into Miami but maybe you’d like to see the extended version of The Two Towers on DVD? It’s really good. But even if you just want to sit in your crib or basket or whatever and drool on things, I’m really looking forward to meeting you. I already think you’re the best.

Love from your Auntie Chiara

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