My first great-niece was born this month. To borrow a phrase from an old birth announcement I saw recently “Mother and baby are doing fine.” The mother is my eldest niece. She is one of only a two niece set. I was standing in the Lincoln General Hospital in Ruston, Louisiana on October 10, 1983, when they brought her out of the delivery room. She had a head full of black hair and was setting up such a howl the nurse could hardly contain her. It was a glorious moment in my life, becoming the aunt of a little girl. I was 23 when I first looked upon the face of Little Miss Kelli Ann Cook (now Rollins.)
My niece’s baby girl, her second child, arrived early, quickly, hale and hearty. She is a darling thing. Things are a lot different now than they were in 1983. This time, as with this baby’s brother, we were all allowed access to mother and child almost immediately. Some of the faces surrounding the new baby were the same as when her mother was born, if a bit more weathered, those including my own. It was a sweet gathering of folk. There was laughter and tears. My mother believes she is somehow obligated to cry whenever a baby was born. The baby was so bright eyed as I leaned over and talked to her that I almost wanted to think she understood what I was saying to her. My immediate thought was of how much she looks like her brother. I was glad, as he is a handsome gent. More recently, though, I am thinking she looks like her Nana, my beautiful little sister. She is named for our paternal Grandmother. The best explanation of the naming comes from a post on Facebook my sister sent to a friend who inquired regarding her name, as well as a nickname attached to her before she was born.
It reads: "I'm calling her Buttons because when Kelli Ann was debating on whether to name her LilliAnn McKenzie (our adored grandmother's name) she was feeling around for something on top of a shelf in the nursery closet, and an old box of Grandma McKenzie's antique keepsake buttons fell and showered down on her head. After that 'sign' the decision was sealed! "