There isn’t anything that hurts me more than when someone tries to tell me Layla isn’t actually my niece, or now that Carter is born and thriving through his earlier months… that he isn’t really my nephew. I’m not blood related to them, this is true; and I have never tried to claim being blood related. I’m referred to as their aunt, and I see them both as my blood relative and I love them both more than I love myself. I would do absolutely anything and everything to protect these tiny tiny humans. Furthermore, I would do anything and everything to be there for their mother, who has been in my life since I was 8 years old.
I met Layla when she was three months old, and it killed me that I didn’t get to meet her sooner, but at the same time, I didn’t really know how much I loved her until I first laid eyes on her. Then the moment Sarah asked me if I wanted to hold her, and I had this little bundle of joy in my arms with her eyes staring up at me, I wanted to cry. I was in love instantly. I no longer just viewed her as another adorable baby like I had in the past with all the babies I babysat growing up. I knew I wanted to be as actively involved in this child’s life as her mom would let me. Thankfully, her mom is more than welcoming to having me around and I made it a goal to try and go see her at least once every other week if not more. Before I knew it, my phone was filling up with photos of her as she grew and I was organizing them in an album dedicated just to her. Before I knew it, I started having to budget out an allotted amount of money I was allowed to use towards buying her presents and clothing. I started planning out everything I wanted to get her for her first birthday because nothing was too much for this innocent little angel.
My love for this family grew even bigger when I found out Sarah was pregnant again, before Layla was even a year old. Then everything got even more exciting when Sarah found out she was having a boy. As soon as I knew it was a boy I started going out and buying baby boy clothing in all sizes to prepare for the baby shower. I, in all honesty, cried the day Sarah told me she wanted me to visit her in the hospital when Carter is born. For me it’s an incredibly honor to be welcomed into her kids lives so heavily because these are the most important part of her life, they are her whole life. The day Carter was born, the universe aligned perfectly, it was his actual due date which almost never happens, and it was on a day I always work the dinner shift… but this particular Monday, my restaurant had to close for maintenance. I couldn’t contain my excitement, I could barely sleep the night Sarah went into labor, and as soon as I got the go ahead to come to the hospital I was getting a food order from Sarah (let’s face it, no mommy who just gave birth should be required to eat hospital food… as if) and making my way to the hospital to do what I didn’t get to do with Layla. Meet Carter on his first day in this world out of his mommy’s belly.
Magical is an understatement, awesome in the truest sense of the word would describe it nicely, I was overjoyed when he was passed into my arms. This tiny, fragile, and perfect in every imaginable way, baby boy who I cannot wait to continue to get to know as his personality forma more and more each day… and to be a part of his life.
I look forward to the years to come in how I will get to spend more time with each of them. I want to make sure I stay a positive influence in their life. On days that I feel like nothing matters, thinking about Layla smiling or Carter’s toothless grin, makes everything in the world seem more bearable.
Sarah has been in my life for a long time, and even though she and I drifted apart from time to time due to us going to different High Schools and then me moving away fro college, I’m glad we’ve always stayed in touch. I’m even gladder I’m back in our hometown and I can see her all the time. You never realize how much you miss having someone in your life until they aren’t and then they come back into your life and you’re asking yourself how you have made it this long without them. Thank you for letting me be your beautiful children’s aunt, even if I’m not blood, even thought they have their blood related aunt and uncles who are perfect in every way, thank you for letting them have another as well. It has seriously changed my life for the better.