Jewish Journal


January 4, 2012

Uncle Elliot




At 5am I awoke to the news that my sister, Ariel gave birth to a healthy baby girl. It was an easy birth. I slept right through it.  There was a rumor that the baby’s name was Blake. I like the name Blake, but Blake Silver is the kind of girl who thinks she is always right and never returns texts. Much like Ariel.

I started a rumor that the baby’s name was Blair. It spread like wildfire to my mom and then my dad, but was dispelled by my sister. Fortunately I can name my own daughter Blair. I just know she will excel at winter sports. Her brother, Bart Steingart will be the comedian I never was. His blog for the Jewish Journal will get so many hits and even an occasional share on Facebook.

My niece’s name is Dylan Silver, a great name. It serves her right. She was a wonderful fetus.

At 5am Ariel is describing the feeling of giving birth. Before hearing about the opening of my sister’s cervix, I asked to speak to my brother-in-law, whom I call Billy. He calls me William. Not sure how this started it just kind of caught on and has continued since the first time I called him Billy Boy.  This time he addressed me differently.

“Uncle Elliot!”

“Mazels, Billy! How’s it feel? Did you cry?”

“Yes, I did. It feels great. We’re just tired, but it’s awesome. You have no idea. It’s just crazy.” 

“What was it like seeing your wife give birth?”

“We took a video of the birth. I’ll send it to you.”

“You can send me the edited version. Waist-up, please.”

My parents flew to Chicago earlier in the day and were at the hospital for Dylan’s birth. We decided I could be more helpful to Ariel and Brian once the baby is a couple months old.  I would have liked to have been there for the birth. Years later it will help me when Dylan becomes a teenage truant journeying around Chicago in a red Ferrari with a hipster and his hypochondriac friend. Uncle Elliot could say “Dylan, this isn’t like you. I’ve known you since the day you were born.”

Now I’ll just have to lie.

“What’s breast feeding like?” I ask my sister.

“It feels like someone sucking on your boob. Are you going to include that in your blog.”

“Ha,ha. No!”

My sister is a breast feeder and my parents are now grand parents. I’m good with “uncle,” a title I share with Billy’s two brothers, Scott and Robby. I call Robby “Cousin Rob” since we are buddies and it’s kind of hard to define how we’re related. I’m excited that Robby and I will go halfsies on birthday and Hannukah gifts. I’m thinking it’s best if we start off small. Gap Kids, then work our way up to Lululemon and later a whistle she can wear for her teenage years.

In most of the pictures I’ve seen of Dylan she is wearing a pink “Metallica” beanie. I never thought my sister whose bedroom wall consisted of Vogue Magazine Covers would have a baby with the same fashion sense as “Beavis.”

Dylan pulls it off. I’m sure later in life she’ll day be swept off her feet by a nice young man in Pre-Kindergarten, or some six year old punk with temporary tattoos who can’t even tie his shoes.

It’s an exciting time for our family and for everyone who knows Ariel and Brian. I’ve received more congratulations on Dylans’ birth than any other time in my life. I’ve appreciated all the well wishes, but I really had no part in making the baby. Thankfully.

“Ariel is very relaxed, and very happy. She is already a great mother” according to my mom.

I can’t imagine Brian is relaxed since he is the most hyper person I know, but I know he will be a great father.

Over the four years I visited Ariel and Brian when they lived in Palm Desert, they did a pretty good job of feeding me, and giving me clean towels. I know they will provide a good home for Dylan who I will meet for the first time in March.

I’m excited to be Uncle Elliot, and look forward to making funny faces and giving Dylan weird nick-names. I can’t wait to teach her how to crawl.

I already love this little girl who I haven’t even met.  Till that day comes, Uncle Elliot is just a phone call away.

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