My Baby Nieces

by - July 31, 2012

For my nieces’ graduation gifts, (Jordan from High School, and Kaitlyn (Birdie) from Jr. High), I asked my brother and sister-in-law if it would be ok to buy them train tickets to come visit me in Texas. The train is a straight shot, Jordan is 18, Birdie is 15, and I’m a grown-up, so Chris and Leigh thought it would work and be fun for the girls to get to do that on their own. Jordi is into art and has wanted to visit the Kimbell Museum for a long time, and Birdie is easily pleased wherever she goes. So, it was all set: A weekend with cool Aunt Hay in Texas! (see below for examples of how cool I am) Chris and Leigh know I would run into traffic for the girls, and the girls are both cool, so they can make a fun day out of anything… even if my plans turn out dumb.

First stop: Kimbell Art Museum. There is no travelling exhibition right now, but Jordi saw some paintings in their permanent collection she learned about in school, and was pretty excited to get to see them in person. Success!

Second stop: Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art. There is a travelling exhibition, so there would be a little more to look at. The artist isn’t someone I ‘ve heard of and all the paintings on the advertisements are just faces in black and white that look a little boring, but we are wearing cute museum outfits, we are Scully girls out museum-ing for the day. Whatevs. We’re cool. We’ll check it out. We walked upstairs to the travelling exhibit from Europe. Fort Worth is the only US city where it will show. Fancy. Like us. Jordi branches out ahead of me and Birdie, and soon returns with eyes as big as saucers and her serious face telling us we do NOT want to go on to the next room. Great. I brought my nieces to some dirty European art exhibit. First of all, I hope the artist finds help for what is obviously broken deep down inside of him. Second of all, let's mention it downstairs that I’m getting ready to walk my baby nieces up to Grody McGroderson’s Dirty Doodles! Epic Fail. (Saying things like “epic fail” is a little example of me being cool.) With eyes straight ahead we went back downstairs and walked through the gift shop taking our time to examine all the museum gifts we had no means or intentions of buying. I think the museum staff could tell we were just pretending to belong there.

Third stop: Daisy’s Barn and Grill. It is this cute little neighborhood grill across the street from my apartment. I like to go there to have breakfast, read and write.  They have Wi-Fi, and big screen TVs. I do not have cable or internet at Stars Hollow (thanks to my nieces...the new name of my apartment of which some of you will understand the reference), and Friday night was the Olympics opening ceremonies night. So we walked down there to have some appetizers for dinner and to watch the ceremonies. We had perfect seats for one of the big TVs, and we had fried pickles and pop. That sounds like summer vacation right there. Things were going great, until the Karaoke guy set up right as we got to the “M” countries of the opening ceremonies. All we wanted was to see Kevin, Russell and James walk in for the USA. But, big drunk guy who obviously did not begin his evening at Daisy’s, decided to kick off the karaoke party with some 80’s rock song way out of his range and began to be unsettling as he wanted more audience participation. Birdie looked at me with a little bit of a concerned look on her face and said “I’ve just never been in this situation before.” Check, please. 

Saturday was way better. No complete failures. We had lunch then went to the outlet mall and just hung out. My car makes a really loud squealing noise every time I turn the air-conditioner on, and the brakes squeak embarrassingly loud, but fortunately none of their friends were here in Plano for the weekend, so the girls weren’t too humiliated. I put dinner together and we watched movies.

Sunday was precious to me. I love these girls. I love seeing my brother and sister-in-law in them; their faces and their personalities. I love that they share my blood, and memories. I love their hearts. I love that they love Jesus. I love their quirky, sassy and sweet sides. I love that I can remember the days they were born, cute things they did as babies, and that they wanted to come see me. And I LOVED sitting next to them in church on Sunday morning. If you get to sit next to someone you love in church on Sunday mornings, don’t take it for granted. It is a gift to share worship with those you love. Be so thankful they have chosen to worship Jesus, and they have chosen to sit by you.

PS…I have the best nephew in the world. He didn’t get to come down this time, but I sent a Rangers t-shirt home to him and I hope he gets to come down soon and maybe catch a game. His name is Shawn Michael Scully. I like to call him Shawn Bon Jovi, or Shawn Michael Montgomery…and he lets me. That’s how cool he is.

Some morals to stories from this weekend:

- Don’t be so busy being cute that you don’t read the fine print. You may end up having to stab your eyes out.

- As long as the car is running, keep driving it, and be thankful for it.

- Don’t get so used to having one sided fights with those you would consider incompetent drivers that you forget how to act when you have your baby nieces in the car with you.  Ugh. And sorry girls. Thanks for reminding me to be nice. ;)

- Get with people you love and sit by them in church.

We went to the zoo one time when they came to see me in Tulsa.
 I could say things like "dance like a flamingo" and they would do it. 

Some of my favorite memories have begun with walking toward these girls.

And P.S…I know they aren’t babies. At one point I lost visual on Jordan and thought about yelling for the guards to lock the building down, even though she goes a lot of places now where we can’t see her, and even though we can be standing next to them and not protect them sometimes. They are very much not babies anymore. But, I’ve loved them since they were, and I now get how they kind of always will be, even though they aren’t anymore. They made me cry like one as we were leaving to take them back to the train. Jordi will move to Stillwater this weekend and start college. I did that one time. Birdie will start High School in a couple of weeks.  It's just not possible.  I don't know how Chris and Leigh can take it.  I love being their Aunt, listening to them, playing with them, and praying for them as they begin these next phases in their lives.  
There they go...

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