Three years ago tonight, you were born. It was a cold and rainy night, and, typical of your personality, even your birth was on your own terms and rather long and drawn out. Late that night, your hot uncle (Hunkle, I like to call him) and I went into the nursery with your mom and dad to meet you. You were so cute. Just a little blonde squishy ball. You also looked just like your grandpa. I had no idea that night how much you would change our lives.
|Aunt Non-Mommy, why are you taking pictures of me at 3 a.m.?|
When you were born, I was very busy in grad school. I was working full time, completing a full time internship, and taking night classes. My time was very limited. Your parents were very tired, so I offered to spend the night and take the night shift with you a few times. You were such a sweet boy. You didn't cry much. You were wide awake all through the night. We spent hours upon hours just staring at one another. With you snuggled on my chest, making those precious baby noises, I fell completely in love with you. Those nights together are very special to me.
As you have grown, you have developed such a fun personality. Being an aunt has been so much fun! I love drawing and writing with you. You are completely obsessed with swimming pools. That makes me so happy! When you were an infant, I used to make you practice your swim strokes. I look forward to years of going to the pool together. I like to wrestle with you and teach you things that are slightly naughty.
Former Baby, in your very short time, you have been through quite a bit. When your grandpa passed away unexpectedly, it rocked all of our worlds. Your grandfather was completely crazy about you. You were such a joy to him in his last two years here on earth. When he passed away, everything changed. It made us so sad when you wandered around the house looking for your grandpa. Yet, even in the midst of such turmoil and chaos, you helped keep us all going. You kept us laughing and gave us hope.
Recently, you were playing in my house when you suddenly stopped and said (completely out of the blue) "Where is Grandpa?" It has been a year since he passed away, and you are so little. I was completely taken aback, but I simply looked at you and said "He's in Heaven." You were satisfied, and went back to playing. Where did that question come from? It makes me very sad to know that you will never remember him, so I want you to know how very much he loved you. You were his special boy.
Life with you is so precious and fun. I never dreamed that I'd have a nephew that I would see so often, and be able to do things with all of the time. The time we spend together is very important to me. Some day, you will be taller than me. You will be too old for me to hug and kiss all of the time. You won't want to go swimming with me. You won't want to sit down and play. But I hope you know that I will always be there for you, whether you like it or not.
Stick with me, kid. We'll always be a team.