Wednesday, October 20, 2010

happy birthday to some of my favorite folks

Eleven years ago today, I became an aunt.  Anyone who's very familiar with me and the important things in my life will know that this was and is a big deal.  In the years since, I've added a couple more nieces and nephews to the Handful, but it all started with a cone-headed, broken-winged, sleepy little Pointer on October 20, 1999. 

These days it's a very popular birthday in my life.  I have a high school friend born on this day as well as Peep Kelly and a friend I go to church with right now.  And this morning, Peep Martha added two more birthdays to celebrate on 10/20.  My two newest little weeps put off making their appearance in the world just long enough to ensure that I'll probably always be gone celebrating Pointer when they're having their birthday party.  They're not the first weeps to be uncooperative in this way, so I guess I'll love them anyway.  Right now I've got some possibly contagious congestion and cough to get over before I can go and meet the tweeps, so I'll have to occupy my time with giving Pointer the birthday recognition she deserves. 

Here are my five favorite things about my entirely-too-old niece:

5.  She's a reader.  This weekend when were together, she told me, full of excitement, that she'd started reading the Anne of Green Gables series, which careful readers will recall as a big deal in my life.  She loves them, of course, but they're just the latest in a long, long line of books that she's devoured and loved.  She's been a lover of books since she was a tiny little girl.  The first time that Will ever deployed after Pointer was born, he made videos of himself reading board books to her because even at ten months, reading was that important in her life.  As she's progressed from Sandra Boynton to Eric Carle to Skippyjon Jones to Ramona to Dragonslayer's Academy to Nancy Drew to Anne, books have always been our thing.  I guess that comes with the territory of being in the book business in one manner or another for most of her little life, but Pointer always wants to tell me about her reading.  I love that it's a thing that we share.

4.  Pointer is all about fashion.  From the time she was old enough to mispronounce "uncomfortable" in the most hilarious way, my girl's been concerned with her clothes.  She's been vocal in her clothing choices for as long as she's been vocal.  Now sometimes her opinions on fashion haven't been lined up with mine, but lately anyway she's really been showing good taste.  When we're all together, she plans out her outfits so that we can any new outfits she's gotten, and she will routinely take polls of anyone who'll stand still long enough to vote about clothing or accessory choices.  Getting dressed is an event with Pointer.  That sentence is sort of true on two levels because she also loves to wear her pajamas all day.  On the first day of homeschool this year, Michelle took pictures of the girls.  Bird was wearing a cute outfit that she probably would have worn to actual school.  Pointer still had on her gown and some pigtails from the day before.  But I'm sure at some point later in that day, she went through at least a couple more costume changes.  And I'm sure she looked adorable the entire time.

3.  She's hilarious.  Pointer's been serving as comic relief in our family for most of her eleven years, and as she's grown from the funny tricks and things we used to make her say to entertaining with jokes of her own, she's gotten even funnier.  Sometimes her goofiness gets overshadowed by Bird, who's always been a different kind of funny, but Pointer definitely holds her own these days.  My favorite funny thing about her these days is that she's not just doing little-kid humor anymore.  She does this thing where she says funny stuff about the little kids, without being mean about them, that makes her seem like she's much older than her years.  That doesn't exactly sound like knee-slapping humor, but she does this very dry, adult delivery sometimes that is just sort of perfect.  Her humor alone is the main reason I'm letting her grow up.  And if she'll ever stop doing those funny voices, I'll let her be in my top five funniest people in the family list.

2.  Pointer may look like her daddy's family, but inside she's 98% Michelle.  She came by her older child/big sister bossiness and protectiveness all too naturally.  She's a perfectionist and loves having things done in just the right way.  She loves mothering her little sister and younger cousins and takes the lead in most all of their games.  And every bit of that is just like her moma.  And since I've devoted posts before to how much I love those traits in my bossy, protective older sister, it's no wonder that I cherish those same qualities in Michelle 2.0.

1.  My girl loves and loves and loves.  She's tender-hearted and kind and a fairly phenomenal cuddler--if you can get past her bony knees and elbows.  I love that even at eleven, she's as affectionate as she was as a preschooler.  She's easily moved to tears for others.  She cherishes our family and loves when we can all be together.  She is mostly patient with the little people in her life, and when no one's around to notice, she and Bird are the second sweetest sister duo I know.  I'm always surprised and warmed and blessed by her heart.

Happy birthday, grown-up baby girl.  Love and love and more love from your Aunt Ellio.


  1. You forgot to mention that she's a thespian AND a soccer player. Her Rob-Bob thinks she's pretty great too.

  2. I laughed, I cried(mostly because of the pictures),it moved me Bob. Thanks for devoting the whole blog to me! I guess now everybody thinks that I'm a good 11 year-old. Love you Aunt Ellio!! Next time run the pictures by me before you put them on the computer!

  3. Wow, Katelyn is big enough to read and comment on blogs. She really is grown up.

  4. These are some of the things I love most about her, too. Although I do have to disagree about her being 98% me. Emotionally and socially she is me, and she is 100% first-born female as am I. But her brain works just like her daddy's. It's not her fault, so I guess I'll keep her!

  5. Katelio--Those pictures are perfection as are you. You are a great eleven-year-old, but you're entirely too young to hate all pictures of yourself. Don't go there, little girl.

    And to Michelle--Pointer doesn't use her brain around me, so I didn't realize it was so much like Will's.


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