Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Niece, Jane Austen

If everything goes according to plan, later today our home will be graced by the lithe and rose-scented presence of my niece, Jane Austen. (She doesn't actually smell like roses but she looks like she would).

Jane Austen (whose real name is Emma Rose but I call her Emma Louise and always have and don't know why) is one of my favorites. She used to be my absolute favorite but then she came to this area for college and despite promises never, ever ONCE made it over here on Friday nights for pizza-and-a-movie and so there has been room for others to challenge her preeminence. And that's the chance you take when you don't come over for pizza and a movie when you could.

Jane used to come for weekend visits when she was very wee and The Spouse and I were just starting out. She was a little, tiny faerie thing with a large imagination and a sweet heart. She loved her Auntie Raine. I dare say, she even worshipped me just a bit, the way small children do when they take it in their heads to love someone who isn't their mother or father. Now, I think she still loves me but at the age of nearly 21, she no longer worships me. The serious arse-kicking she gave me playing Guitar Hero recently was indication enough of that.

Jane is the first of the Next Generation to complete a 4 year college degree. She has a job and her own apartment and a very nice boyfriend (who turned her on to "Battlestar Galactica" - so you can imagine how I feel about him). She's also impossibly pretty. She reminds me of myself at that age (except that she has a much nicer boyfriend than I did and I wasn't as impossibly pretty). She left home young to go to college, she has begun to make a life for herself away from her family, she is bright and funny and sassy - which can sometimes be read as rebellious or "worldly" or some other thing that frightens people but she isn't. She is a classic good girl, with the sense to be a good girl because she knows that will profit her more than being a bad girl. In other words, she is making good choices and I, for one, applaud them.

I am fairly certain her parents are proud of her but they necessarily worry. She's the first of their brood to leave home and that is never a thoroughly easy thing. Turns out that momentous moment- the one you've been building toward all those years- is the point where you, as a parent, wonder if you did enough right, covered enough bases, to really and truly fit your child for life in the big, cruel world. I'm starting to think that birds have a much easier time of it, what with that whole just-pushing-em-out-of-the-nest-and-starting-a-whole-new-brood thing.
But human parents have to do more than regurgitate worms and teach babies to fly. And as hard as all those lessons are when we have the little buggers under our roof, I'm beginning to understand even more how tough it is to actually stand by and watch to see if the lessons hold.
And you know, sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. That's the other reality. You do all you can and it's either going to take or not. In the end, those offspring of ours are their own people and at some point their choices are theirs alone.
I do not know how I got off on that tangent. Point is, if The Child turns out as well as Jane, I will sleep very well at night.
Another thing, which I only recently realized about my relationship with Jane, is that I have a relationship with her, which is to say I seek out talking to her and being with her for her own sake. Yes, we know each other and have history because we could theoretically donate one another a kidney, but Jane stands up to the ultimate test: If she weren't kin and I met her at a party I would still want to hang with her. I don't have a relationship like that with any of my blood aunties (who are all perfectly lovely people, mind) although I know Dame Judi has one like that with at least one of her nieces. Which is only to say it's nothing to do with a generational thing or the like. Some people, I suppose, are just meant to be friends and if they happen to be introduced to you by way of family genetics, so be it.
Point is, Jane Austen is a superfantastic person and I'm looking forward to another Guitar Hero beating because even in the midst of my humiliation, I will be laughing and talking with someone I love very much.



Blogger Mom opined...

You are a good auntie. Jane Austin is blessed to have you.

July 22, 2008 11:41 AM  
Blogger sageweb opined...

How sweet and wonderful. I wish I could have a relationship like that with my nieces.

July 22, 2008 11:56 AM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

It really goes both ways on the blessing thing, Mom.

It is pretty awesome, Sage. 'Specially since she's such a great person.

July 22, 2008 12:13 PM  
Blogger LostInCO opined...

sweet and nice and all things gooey. You are very nice family.

July 22, 2008 12:46 PM  
Anonymous MN Fan opined...

Calling the first meeting of the
(Here's - o 'cause it looks good - The - Thing) fan club to order!
1st order of business - roll call!
- MN Fan?
- YO!
- ..... (hmmmm, tap, tap, tap)
- Ok all members are here, next!
- Old Business?
- MN Fan here...would like to discuss the name of this fan club.
- MN Fan moves to table discussion until more members apply. (One gets looked at strangely when debating oneself)
- New Business?
- MN Fan here again...I move we hold our first annual membership drive! STAT!
- MN Fan seconds that motion.
- Motion approved.
- MN Fan motions to adjourn meeting
- MN Fan seconds the motion.
- Meeting adjourned. Thank you for a successful first meeting of the H.o.T.T fan club!

July 22, 2008 1:44 PM  
Blogger Sling opined...

Beautiful,intelligent,and a truly good person..You know,it only takes one to redeem an entire generation.
I know,there are more,it's just gratifying to hear..
BTW,..Guido has H.o.T.T. T-shirts on sale in the lobby.

July 22, 2008 2:20 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Lost, you should see us play Running Charades...

MN Fan, you are too funny. And it looks like Guido is in the club. Whatever you do, don't elect him Treasurer. Trust me.

Sling, right? Whenever someone (including me) starts up with "Kids these days..." I think of Jane (and my other nieces and nephews, to be honest) and am all "shut up about that right now". Much hope to be had there.

July 22, 2008 5:43 PM  
Blogger jp opined...

Have you ever tried regurgitating a worm? Not so easy. Because first you have to swallow it.

And furthermo-- Hey, someone's selling t-shirts in the lobby! Gotta run.

July 22, 2008 6:06 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Not to mention, JP, worms actually make me feel like gagging to begin with, which you would think helps the regurgitation process but really, not so much. Hey, would you see if they have any of those tshirts in red?

July 22, 2008 6:11 PM  
Blogger Miss Healthypants opined...

Aww, that's so wonderful. I love my nieciest niece (Sfoofie) just the same...ain't we just the luckiest aunties? *smiles*

July 22, 2008 8:49 PM  
Blogger Lorraine opined...

Indeed, MHP. And I think it's safe to say I feel EXACTLY the same way about Jane that you do about Sfoof and it's the nicest possible thing.

July 22, 2008 9:50 PM  
Blogger Doralong opined...

It's a wonderful thing when you realize you do actually have a genuine relationship beyond the bounds of the one that genetics kindly provided.

July 23, 2008 4:01 AM  
Blogger Molly opined...

Man My sister is awesome. Isn't she just a hottie mc-body? She's been here the last three days, as you well know, and i have loved it. she's leaving today and I'm sure the usual heart pangs will accompany it. :) blech.
Well i really ought to be working now.

July 23, 2008 10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous opined...

Ba Ha Ha Ha (Note no W)

Nice when it works out. I'm more the flocking type who would rather have em in the nest till they can afford to buy their own. Saves huge amounts of cash (some of the neighbors kids did just that, fanastic success) and helps keep em a little safer from the wolves too.

As to the next generations I am more apologetic than anything else. After all they weren't old enough to vote for whatshisname and his happy clan.

Great to have some cool weather come in. Wish it would rain a bit.



July 23, 2008 11:52 AM  
Blogger more cowbell opined...

Good for her, she sounds fabulous. And I love that first pic, the one of her w/ the camera.

July 26, 2008 2:00 PM  

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