Monday, October 3, 2011

Mr. Owen

Meet my nephew Owen.
Owen is a typical 4 year old boy.
He has a super-duper sweet side...
but also has one of the best “stink-faces” that I’ve ever seen.
He is ALL boy.  
Owen sporting a black eye right before family pictures.  
Yup, ALL boy.

His favorite singer?  Lady Gaga.

His favorite aunt?  Aunt Kristen.
(Hehe! Sorry other aunts!  I just tell it like I hear it...)

How did I gain the title "Favorite Aunt?"  I would like to say that it's because of how insanely cool or hilariously funny I am.  And while both of those things are true, I know deep down that there is one thing that pushed me to the top of the list.  

I'm Charlotte's mom!

It's true, I became a heck of a lot cooler in this little boys eyes when Miss Charlotte came into the picture.  Owen LOVED (and still loves!) “Baby Charlotte.”

Yes, I realize that all of my nephews and my niece loved little Charlotte, but something about “rough-and-tumble” Owen loving on our little girl could always make me smile.  He was smitten with her from day one and was always looking out for her.
Owen and Charlotte 7/2010 
 He had waited 3 whole months to hold Baby Charlotte and you can see the excitement in his face.

I will always remember when he shared his helicopter with her at Christmas.  He set it on her lap, looked at me with a very serious face and said, “Aunt Kristen, this toy is for big kids, not babies… (pause)...but Baby Charlotte can play with it anyway.”  

Not only did he share toys with Charlotte, he also shared his "meek" (a.k.a. blanket).  Charlotte and Owen had matching blankets…his red and hers green.  If Charlotte would start to cry you could always count on Owen to show up with the green blanket (or his red one if the other was no where to be found.)  He would calmly tuck it right up by her face--Owen knows from years of experience that a special blanket can make everything better. 

Owen may be the little brother in his house, but he definitely stepped into the big brother "protector" role when it came to our little girl.  He was well aware of the things that would make her cry and tried to make sure that didn't happen.  At the Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Banquet last year he stuck by her side because he knew that she got scared when there were lots of new people around.  I love this picture of him hovering beside her like her own personal bodyguard!

One of my favorite things was the look on Owen’s face when he would see Charlotte.  Tear.  He would get this bashful little grin on his face, but you could tell that on the inside he was SO excited. To this day there is still a sparkle in his eyes when I mention her name...she totally won his heart.

Two weekends ago I was back in Omaha and stopped by my sister’s house. As I was leaving Owen followed me outside where we ended up playing a little basketball (Translation: Owen shot the ball and I prevented it from rolling down the driveway). In between shots something in the grass caught his eye.

Owen: Aunt Kristen, it’s a butterfly! 
Me: Where? 
Owen: Right there in the grass! It’s a monarch.
Me: (smiling) You’re right smarty pants, it IS a monarch.
Owen: It’s tiny. I think it’s a baby!
Me: (catching my breath, smiling, fighting back tears) 
I think you’re right O-Boe. It’s a little baby butterfly…

I don't want to be the overly sentimental grieving mother who takes every gust of wind, ladybug, butterfly, etc. and turns it into a symbolic message from my angel daughter...but I have NEVER seen a monarch as teeny tiny as the one we saw that day.  How fitting that it little Owen that spotted it fluttering around in the yard as we were playing.

I pray that he keeps finding little baby butterflies dancing around him.

I pray that he forever carries the memory of little Charlotte with him.

I hope and pray that he knows that every time I see him, I think of her and smile.  

I love you O-Boe...and Baby Charlotte does too!

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