Wednesday, May 21, 2008

But She Still Thinks It Was Her Tonsils

Flashing Cousins: Muggles and Lo

One of the reasons I am sure that The Chief hasn't made his arrival yet is that he is waiting for the right time. It seems that my side of the family has been infused with dramatics as of late from the sad news that Page miscarried, to last night's destruction of Lucy's fence by a sleeping-pill-induced drunk driver. Not to mention Alex's mild depression since Kobe sent the Jazz to their locker room clean out.

But the news that continues to have the family on our knees was last week's emergency removal of my seven-year-old niece's appendix. This niece, who belongs to my brother Andrew and his wife Megan, has a good Christian name but for some reason she answers to Lo, Lolo and yes, even sometimes, Lolita, in our family circle.

Chup and I have long-since been fans of Lo. From her self-enforced diet of carbohydrates-only, to her unique voice (think Mickey Mouse mixed with Sylvia Brown) to her insistence that everything is "weird." (I told her the name that we are thinking of naming The Chief and she responded with her certified "That's weird!" which, ok, it kinda is an odd name, but then my sister-in-law Lindsay said that they are thinking of naming their baby Maria and Lo said the same exact thing. Half this planet is named Maria! It can't be that weird.) But we love her mostly because she was born with spice that Thailand hasn't even invented yet. Spi-cy.

So when we got the news that she was in a lot of pain (physical and emotional), that her white blood cell count was approaching the roof, and that the Dr. Uncle Jim was thinking an appendicitis we were all on high alert. Not our Lo! How long would it be until we'd see her unparalleled dance moves while singing little lines of Fergalicious? No little girl (besides Madeline) should have to go through such excruciating pain. What was to be done?

They removed her appendix.

Later, when the surgery was successful, Megan told me that as Lo sat in the throws of torment, begging for relief, our already-prone-to-high-amounts-of-prima-donna exclaimed, " Why me? Why can't this be one of our cousins instead of me?"

After Meg finished that punchline boy did I laugh. How perfectly Lo! A story for her collection of Funny Things I Said As A Child (which is going to be voluminous). Remember that time when you were so eager to give your appendicitis attack to one of your lowly cousins who apparently deserved more than you?

But since then I've thought and thought about that comment. Actually, now I see it in another light. Maybe in that moment Lo was remembering the crowd of cousins who love her, those who play with her almost daily, who watch her spontaneous dance shows and let her eat tortilla chips (carbs!) off their plate at Cafe Rio. Perhaps she felt that any of them loved her enough to trade her places if she couldn't do it herself. This vast army of kids who all share blood and light brown facial freckles are closer than I thought.

Behold! My siblings have produced a second generation of kids who really care about one another. And I can't wait for The Chief to join them.



(When things have calmed down, of course.)