So over the past month at home I have spent a lot of time Aunting. My sister has two children (both are my god children) a 7-year old little girl and a 9-month old little boy. We had a family explosion this weekend when my mother baptized my nephew… I have never seen my mom so happy… honestly (PS she is a Priest). I have a pretty special relationship with these squirts. I nannied my niece from one month until five months, the summer she was born and now we are bonded. They are literal replicas of one another besides the fact that my nephew is the BIGGEST BABY I HAVE EVER SEEN! Here is what I know to be true of babies:
- They do everything you do. Honestly they mimic every move you make! Every time I grabbed my purse, my little niece would grab her purse. I am aunt Kiki at home (my heart melts… I love it so much). And that little girl worships me. She trusts me, she deeply seeks my approval. She constantly breaks my heart because I wish I was half the person she thinks I am. Every time I lose my patience with her or don’t giver her attention when she wants it I beat myself up after with regret. People always say being a parent is heartbreaking, I think I feel 10% of what it feels like… or maybe less.
- You shape the way they see the world. My sister is one of the MOST AMAZING mothers in the world. She has a legit philosophy to the way she raises her children. She is intentional about body image, bullying, kindness, generosity, and animals – it is beautiful. One day, my niece and I had to have a HARD conversation about her saying some mean things. I have no idea where these things came from. When I asked her about it she talked about a kid who was bullying her at school. I started crying because the meanness starts so young. I talked to her about how the hardest job in the world we have is to love people even when we feel hurt, that when we hurt we cannot create hurt. I wish that every time I was hurt I did not create more pain… I wish every person reacted to pain by feeling the hurt instead of pushing it on to someone else. Our number one job in this world is to love, create happiness, positivity and joy for other people. It is the hardest job because even when others hurt us, we have to rise above and be joyful.
- It is really easy to lose them. I mean it is so easy for them to disappear. I don’t mean actually like kidnapped. But no matter how hard we work to love them, the world will constantly tell them that they are not good enough. That they cry too much, or they are too short, or they have bad teeth, or they talk too much. My sister’s children are SO HAPPY, SO LOUD, so real, so pure and they deeply believe their voice matters. This past year my niece had a teacher who thought she was too outgoing or too loud or who cares. And it has been a summer full of teaching her to be an authentic little girl again. The scariest thing to me is sending her back out into the world again to get trampled again. But I know they are also resilient. I know that there are things born into each of us that cannot be tamed or broken. That for my niece, it is her robust side, that for my nephew, it is his constant laid back smiling. They both had it from the moment they were born.
So, I love being an aunt. I know I will love being a mom if I am ever given the gift of being a mother… and when the time comes. I love my job and my freedom but I truly want to do the mom thing right – or to the best of my abilities. I guess all of that is going to have to wait right now, because in 7 days I get on my first flight to travel for 52 days straight, so I can be the person that I was born as, a pushy, stubborn, happy, girly, opinionated, emotional, driven, child of God. Thank God for Grace. And… Thank GOD for babies.