I love HarperCollins, who brought CHOSEN to life as a hardcover and last month, in paperback, and I am having a great time on the blog tours with TLC and ChickLitPlus, but this post is about another Harper debut, my sweet niece born on 11/11/11 at 11:11 who has me smitten.
What a fantastic sister I have to not only move from the Caribbean to the PA farmhouse in the apple orchard only a hundred yards from my front door with her instant playmate daughter for my daughter, Piper's 'sister-cousin', but then to give birth to another sweet baby who brings magic and her angel sphere to our life every day.
My love for babies is no secret--I will travel to orphanages in Eastern Europe to hold babies and have cherished that early time with each of my three. There is a frequent revisiting of this issue in the Hoffman House (captured in my article "Are You Done?") a constant questioning about whether or not this sphere will only visit our house in the form of nieces and nephews from now on...
Harper in our lives is all the fun of baby time--walking up to steal her away for a prolonged visit at our house while my sister sleeps, play with her, and then the ability to drop her back off if she squawks too much.
What a gift for my kids as well! I knew Piper would love her (and accelerate her campaign big time for a baby sister of her own) and Max has always been obsessed with babies, but one of my biggest delights was when Hayden held her for the first time.
Hayden is a great big tough ten-year-old now, bustling from hockey games to researching rare reptiles to hip-hop dance class and interested in all things Flyers and Lego. I put a week-old Harper in his arms during our extended family's Sunday Night Dinner, and her pure innocence and magic touched something in him--he started laughing, the delicious, uncontrolled, joyful chortling of his toddlerhood, a hearty belly- laugh I haven't heard from him in ages. It didn't stop--he just kept laughing, marveling over her toes, her tiny fingers clutching his, the way she dreams with dramatic rapid eye movement, lids open...
Today, my favorite thing on Friday is Harper, and the rest of her lovely family, the gift of getting to raise my family in this extended village, and be the doting auntie to its newest member.