Most people know me as Beth…
but there are a few little people who know me as Auntie.
That is my favorite name.
I remember the moment that I found out I would be an aunt.
It was about 13 years ago, I was cutting my brother Eddie and his new wife Tecia’s hair at Tantrum.
They announced it right there! They were expecting a baby!
I was going to be an Aunt in a short 9 months!
I was excited that my brother was going to be a dad, but let’s get REAL …I was going to be an Aunt!!!! And after some serious deliberation I determined that I would be called Auntie.
They soon found out the baby was a GIRL and it began. I remember the shopping, the shower and the anticipation. Her name, one that was decided by her mother when her mother was just a little girl, was going to be Teila.
I was going to be Auntie to a darling baby girl named Teila!
When the time came I rushed to the hospital in anticipation… our little Teila was here!!!
I remember coming up on her two grandmas sitting side by side outside the delivery room.
I remember asking my mom if she was beautiful. My mom (mother of 12) who loves babies even more than me, had something in her voice that I couldn’t read and she answered me with less enthusiasm than I expected. Yes she was beautiful, but I wanted elation… and it wasn’t there.
I remember finally seeing baby Teila and being surprised that she looked different than I had expected,
now knowing that she looks exactly like her mother… but also she shares common attributes of almost 2% of the worlds popluation.
I remember seeing my brother (her father) hold her with a look I couldn’t decipher… not of the usual excitement but with a solemn knowing look.
I remember leaving and wondering… wondering and praying that everything was ok. I remember hours later finding out that Teila our sweet highly anticipated 1st grand-baby had a 99% probability of carrying an extra chromosome on her 21st chromosome that would label her with DOWN SYNDROME. Later finding out that 1 out of 800 births is to a child with DS.
I remember the heavy devastating emotions that I carried.
I remember not sleeping… (I who was just the Auntie).
I remember the questions.
I remember how uninformed I was about Trisomy 21.
I remember how little attention I had ever paid a person with Down Syndrome.
I remember wondering,” Would my little Teila ever call me Auntie?”
I remember the 9lb 4oz baby laying like a large marshmallow next to the 2lb baby in the NICU of Desert Samaritan Hospital.
What I don’t remember, and what her parents do, is the representative from Sharing Down Syndrome Arizona-a local support group and non-profit, coming to the hospital within the first 48 hours of Teila’s birth. Bringing with them information… tons of it, but most importantly hope. They brought with them experience. They had been where Eddie and Tecia were now. They had experienced the mourning of a lost dream. They had been through it and were at the other side. SDSA introduced Eddie and Tecia to a family who had a 4 year old with DS and they immediately fell in love. They soon became part of a community, a new network of education, support, and the resources needed to fight for this new baby girl. SDSA brought light and hope for the future.
I remember Teila’s little aunties(my sisters ages 9,7, and 4) full of nerves and anticipation waiting to meet her, wondering how she would look.
I remember the youngest auntie seeing her and in relief commenting… “Oh she is just a baby.”
I remember how much fun it was to hold her. I remember that crazy crazy hair.
I remember how beautiful she was.
I remember how people stopped us to admire her where ever she was.
I remember those pigtails!
I remember her crazy way to crawl, and she walked!
I remember her first steps and her first teeth.
I remember that she called me Beh… instead of Auntie, that came later… but it came!
I remember our first pedicure… first trip to build a bear, (I waited sooo long for this one)…shopping… shopping… and we still go shopping.
I remember her haircuts and how Tantrum embraced her, my clients and co-workers alike.
Teila is now 12. She, along with her 4 siblings all call me Auntie Beth.
She loves the color purple and everything that blings. She loves platform flip flops, feathers, nail polish and skinny jeans. She loves a good party and she is fabulous.
Teila has brought so much to our lives, she doesn’t judge… not on looks, or clothes, or smarts.
She loves you because you are YOU.
Teila and our family have decided to participate in “The Walk For Down Syndrome”
Tantrum has graciously offered to help sponsor Teila in her walk.
She will be raising money for Sharing Down Syndrome AZ to help support and give back for what they have done for our family.
If you would like to contribute to the cause
1.You can purchase a purple or pink hair extension for $12 at Tantrum between Now and Sept 22.
2. Come visit our bake/craft sale hosted by Tantrum at Tantrum on September 15th from 10am -2pm.
3.You can donate directly online HERE make sure you specify “Team Teila” and “The Walk For Down Syndrome”.
4.To contact me directly please email me at email@example.com attn: Beth
I feel like the Tantrum family is my family and I am so grateful for all of your love and support! You are the best and I am blessed to be a part of this great community.