I met a new member of the family this past week. My younger brother Paul and his partner Theresa are proud parents of a new baby they named Lynniah Lacy Victoria Stephens. Lynniah was born at 8:48 am on January 19 and she weighed eight pounds and six and a half ounces. At birth she was 19 inches in length. Lynniah’s older brother Liam will now have a playmate to spend time with.
Paul has always seemed to be a happy person. He has a perpetual smile on his face and in fact one of his childhood nicknames was Smiley. The day Lynniah was born, Paul was beaming with pride. Both parents are quiet people and it was no wonder that the new baby never made much fuss. In fact, in all the time I spent with Paul and his family, I never heard little Lynniah make a sound louder than a whimper.
I reminded Paul of all the crying nieces and nephews we looked after as teenagers for our older brothers and sisters. Paul has walked a crying baby to quiet them down as many times as I have. He is fortunate to have a content and happy baby with no troubles or complaints to cry about.
It was a bit odd for me to sit with my younger brother and to think of him as the father of a young boy, Liam, and now a baby girl. I have always imagined Paul as my little kid brother.
I have heard many older people from my family say that when you get to know people from the time they are young, you always see them in the same way, no matter how much time passes. It is getting harder for me now to imagine that the man who now stands about four inches taller than me and is built like a bull as being my younger brother.
I was four when Paul was born into our family in Attawapiskat. I can remember the day he arrived in our home for the first time. It was a warm summer day in August and there had been a lot of anticipationof the event. When mom finally came home, many people were on hand to greet her and the new arrival. I can vaguely remember everyone surrounding the crib of a small baby. At the time I recall wondering what all the fuss was about and who this newborn was.
Paul was the last to be born in our family, so we all thought of him as the baby. My memories of him mostly surround the idea and perception that we all had to look out for him. Although he was perfectly capable, we all saw him as the little one who needed us older siblings to help him along. Sometimes, my brothers and sisters and I still feel that we have to keep looking out for our baby brother.
Even as we all grow older, I still imagine my family members in the same way I did as a boy. I still see my older brothers as great hunters, hard workers and older boys who could go where I could not. I have always felt that my two older sisters were far more knowledgeable and capable than I was.
In a time like this when a new baby arrives into our family, I realize how much everything has changed. We are all adults now and we are all capable in our own ways yet we still see each other as young boys. We have all changed independently but we still see each other as we were years ago.
Another saying I hear all the time is that everyone grows up so fast. Well, this little baby makes me realize that this saying is very true. It seems like my nephews and nieces were babies just a short while ago. In fact, they are in their teens now.
So I thank baby Lynniah for reminding me about a couple of important things in life. Thanks are also due to Dr. Donald Pond, his assisting staff during the birth and the nursing staff of the Timmins and District Hospital for taking such good care of Theresa and little Lynniah. The world awaits her.