In the post about my mom, when I wondered how she managed to parent three young kids so well when she was more than a decade older than I am now, I forgot to mention her secret weapon: Lupe.
When I was three months old, the age Nora is now, Lupe, or Lala, as I've always called her, came to live with us—ostensibly to take care of the house and help with the older two while my mother took care of me. It didn't quite work out that way. As Lupe explains it, Meaghan (then 5) didn't like her and Caity (2.5) screamed at her, so she decided to stick with me—the one who couldn't talk. Lupe lived with us until I was four, and she became like a second mother to me. I slept in her room, followed her around speaking Spanish with her as she did housework, and benefited from her favoritism. My sisters tell me how frustrating it was for them that I would stand in front of the TV in my diaper as they were trying to watch their Saturday morning cartoons, and Lupe would scold them if they tried to make me move.
After leaving us to get married and have a daughter of her own, Lupe remained a big part of our family. She and Christina would spend summers and weekends with us. When Greg and I got married five years ago, Lupe and my father walked me down the aisle. That was the last time Lupe was in Colorado, and at the time she was terrified of flying (it was only two years after the September 11 attacks, which Lupe watched from her apartment window directly across from the World Trade Center) so she rode the Greyhound, for 36 hours, rather than miss the day.
I've seen her since then on all my trips to New York, but last week she came to see us again—really to see the baby—and we had such a wonderful visit. Lupe says Nora looks just like I did when she first met me, so it was sort of like going full circle. This is pretty much how we spent the week: Nora in Lupe's arms, Lupe grinning ear to ear, me sitting on my hands and wishing I could snatch my baby back. I imagine it's how my mother felt when Lupe laid claim to me.
Lupe couldn't get over the size of the dogs. She wanted a picture, because she's sure no one will believe her when she describes them.
We spent the weekend up in Boulder for Greg's friend's wedding. On Saturday afternoon we walked around Pearl Street Mall, and Lupe bought a balloon animal for Sidamo.
Greg had to take off for some wedding stuff, but Lupe and the kids and I had pizza and beer. Well, Sidamo didn't have any beer, but the rest of us did. Nora can't wait for the day she can have it undiluted, from a glass.
We got the kids all dressed up to show them off at the wedding, but then Lupe took them back to the cabin so Greg and I could have a grown-up evening out. We had almost forgotten what that feels like.
Greg with the handsome groom, Gabriel. Greg and Gabe were best friends in high school, lost touch during college, and recently reconnected via Facebook.
Gabe and his new wife Ruth are wonderful—very funny, down-to-earth, and spiritual, and I've had such a great time getting to know them. Check out Ruth's dress. Gabe made it—he's an amazing designer.
The day after the wedding, with Nora back in her beautiful crocheted hat from Aunt Meg.
After checking out, we went up to Boulder Falls to take in some of the local scenery before sending Lupe back to New York.
You wouldn't know it from the last picture, but Sidamo fell in love with Lala during her visit. Every day this week he has woken up asking for his Lala. I tell him that Lupe had to go back to New York, and he insists, "But I need my Lala!"
So do I, sweetie.