The year of the baby.

Way back in January I wrote ‘2014 The Year of The Baby’ on a blackboard hanging in the kitchen of my brother’s house. His girlfriend was pregnant at the time and it felt pretty apt. We were all really excited to meet their baby and it was to be the first grandchild and niece or nephew for both families.

Lola was born at the beginning of may and we are all smitten. Being an aunt is pretty cute so far.

On Friday my second first-cousin-once-removed was born. That label is ridiculous, all that matters is she’s family and we love her. Her name is Sophie and she looks just like her dad.

This year has been so  goddamn full. It’s hard to believe that we’re not even halfway through yet. Somedays I feel like I’ve felt my quota of feelings for the year. Somedays I just want it be done. This year has been truly terrible. This year has been truly wonderful. I’ve been my saddest and my happiest too. It’s strange how that is. Everything is here and everything is gone.

I believe that tragedy has the ability to pull us apart or glue us together. I remember saying to my mum that I’d never felt such a strong sense of community as I had in the weeks after Cian died. Without knowing what to say or do or feel we all instinctively glued ourselves together. We stepped on toes and said the wrong things and cried in kitchens and ate a hell of a lot of cake. We hugged and fought and made up. One of my aunts said ‘we’re loving each other and killing each other’—but if that isn’t a pretty apt definition of family I don’t know what is.

I posted on instagram that it felt like my lot in life to be surrounded by babies. I really think it is. I have always been a baby person. Always happy to hang out with little cousins or friends babies. My mum once got me out of bed to hold a four month old for forty minutes while his mum was in a lesson. He was cute and I was happy to oblige. A friend in college told me that my face changes when I’m holding a baby, I look different and happy. I took that as a pretty huge compliment. Though I can’t comprehend how anyone’s face wouldn’t change when holding a teeny tiny squishy human. I will never understand how people don’t like babies. Holding a newborn is enough to make you stop and breathe and let go of whatever bullshit is going on.

Even if it is just for a moment.