* This is a little something I wrote for my sister's blog and my nephew's baby book. She asked me to compose a blog/letter for his 1st birthday - something that he can read later in life. This is what I came up with...
Auntie. That’s what I became on January 26th 2010. At the time, I didn’t quite realize what that would mean to me or how my life would change. Maybe that sounds a little dramatic, but for me it was truly a turning point.
The thing is, for many years I was uncomfortable around children. I was even a little afraid that it translated into dislike. Having not been raised around kids or with any of my younger cousins, I had a hard time relating to them as I passed into adulthood.
When Mandy was pregnant I started getting excited about the prospect of a new family member. When little Bennett Roy was born, something inside me was profoundly altered. It was almost like a switch had been thrown - a light had been turned on.
The moment I was able to spend a few minutes with him, I started crying. I knew that I was utterly in love with him and my uncertainty disappeared. I had never before known the feeling of loving a child so completely.
I watched in awe as Bennett grew and thrived, as he curled his tiny fingers around my heart. He made me smile like I hadn’t smiled in a very long time. His toothless grin, all I needed to trust in my own future as a parent.
Being part of a small family has it’s advantages. It seems to make each individual all the more important. I feel that those people are not taken for granted as often, as might happen in a large family. You learn to appreciate and have the time to give each family member.
Lucky for me, my sister and brother-in-law live a mere 5 minutes away, giving me the opportunity to bond with my first and only nephew. It has been such a blessing to be able to see Bennett on a weekly basis. To not have to miss out on any of his milestones or hilarious tantrums.
I love that I am able to witness his developing sense of humor and quiet charm. That every time I come to visit, he smiles at me with a wide, knowing, 4 toothed grin. A grin that tells me he recognizes me as his family and as possibly someone he loves and trusts. I believe with all my heart that I can be that for him.
As Benny’s 1st birthday approaches, I know that his parents will long slightly for the times that were - the early months of his babyhood. Being the Auntie, I can only seem to look forward. I am excited to witness the next step in his young life and see what new discovery he makes.
At the early age of 1, Bennett has shown me how to live life and get the most out of it. He’s taught me to trust in myself and be confident in my ability to care for children. He’s made me happier just by existing and I think that is such a beautiful gift.
So for his birthday, I would like him to know how very much he means to me. I want to tell him that he will always be able to count on me. That he is a total joy in my life and I am lucky to be a part of his. He is my own personal sun, that both brings me energy and saps it away. But the warmth and light that follows him is worth everything.
I love you B.