I am in love.

My latest crush has a quick smile, sweet brown eyes, and the best, expressive eyebrows in the world. He sings, loves the sound of buzzing bees, and when he wiggles his toes, well, I can’t get enough. I melt.

Don’t worry. Benjamin is not jealous. He’s in love with him too. Our little love is eleven months old, and he’s the newest member of the Brendan and Julie family.

I’ve written about our dear friends before. We met Brendan and Julie in Berlin. They were our Fruhstuck, dinner, and cocktail partners. They made us laugh and think. They were touchstones in our expat world.

As fate would have it, we all ended up back in New York. As love would make it, they had their sweet baby boy last year, and we met him a few weekends ago.*

The family trio strolled into the cafe, and we exchanged quiet hugs as little one was napping. It’s always good to see Brendan and Julie, and this time, I swear, they looked radiant. Yeah, yeah, I’m biased when it comes to my friends. I do think all of them are beautiful, but there was an extra glow to J&B. Because they are humble, they would most likely say that the glow is actually well-earned sweat for what it takes to be a good parent, but regardless, parenthood looked good on them. And their son looked so sweet! Yeah, yeah, all babies look sweet when they sleep, but again, I’m bragging specifically about my friends here.

Baby boy woke up calmly, which later prompted Benjamin to say, “He was so cute! He woke up like a human!”

It’s true that we don’t have a lot of contact with babies, so I did have to remind Benjamin that our friends’ baby was indeed human. He retorted, “You know what I mean. He woke up in a new place, with new people, new sights and sounds, and he was chill about it. I thought all babies woke up crying.”

“Well,” I said, “consider the sources. He does have two of the nicest people we know as parents, so it’s in his genes.”

Truthfully, I was amazed too, not only by how happy he woke up, but by how happy he stayed, even though he was teething, and even when the fire horn from next door jolted everyone else in the cafe. At the sound the horn, little one raised his eyebrows in wonder, looked at his Dad, who looked back at him and shrugged, and deciding that this cue meant it was no big deal, went back to smiling and hanging out. Most adaptable kid ever.

It was a pleasure to meet Baby BrendanJulie. It was beautiful to see Julie touch his head while he sipped his drink and ate his Cheerios. It was endearing to see Brendan read Dr. Suess to him and watch his little face respond to different sounds. And I loved it when he giggled at me and mimicked my tongue as we sang “la la la” to each other.

Oh, I will miss my little boyfriend! But speaking as an auntie who has witnessed her niece and nephew grow into pretty cool young adults, I know I will enjoy his changes too. Until we see each other again!


*I am withholding baby’s name out of privacy. Someday this kid will be famous, and I’ll be able to say I knew him when he gripped my fingers with his little toes and giggled.