Today is my nephew Nick’s birthday. The little monkey, as my sister calls him, or El Peluito (he was a hairy baby), or Periquito, or Corroncho Poncho, how I like to call him, is turning 14 today. Fourteen, people!

I remember when he was born. It was December of 1998, and I lived in NYC. Liz and Cas (the parents of the cherubim) lived in England, but Liz was adamant to have Nick born in Venezuela, so she had set for Caracas long before her due date, to wait for Nick’s arrival, knitting and being pampered at my parents’ home.

Liz had a C-section, a scheduled one, as many women do in Venezuela, so we knew when he would be born, the date and the range of time. My semester at TC didn’t end until the 18th of December and even though I had my plane ticket all lined up for the 19th, I couldn’t feel but I was totally missing out by not being there 8 days before. I’m not kidding, I was officially diagnosed homesick by one of the Columbia campus counselors.

On the day Nick was born, I remember rushing to a pay phone after babysitting (my side gig at the time) to see if Nick had been born already. I didn’t have a cell phone and couldn’t wait until I got home to call. So there I was on the corner of 96th and Broadway calling home to check on Liz and Nick. Funny how life works, that 2 years after that fact the Sanderson’s, Nick in tow, then moved to the very same building I was babysitting in and lived there for over 10 years. Funny, I tell you.

Anyway, that cute, skinny, long, hairy baby turned into a tall, handsome, sweet, smart and lovable young man, who is now in his freshman year of high school. I can’t believe how fast time has passed. I can’t believe he’s not my little periquito any more. But as he has grown, my love for him has grown as well. I will forever love to pieces my first, and only nephew. My nephew who also happens to be my godson. My nephew who also happens to be a rock-star and pretty mature, insightful young guy.

I love you Nick, and I hope you keep growing and turning into the best you you can possibly be. Although, you already are pretty awesome just the way you are.


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