Becoming an Aunt

Can I tell you a secret?

When my sister Emily told me she was pregnant three years ago, there were so many emotions tumbling around inside of me: shock, disbelief, sheer joy, a surge of extra love for my sister, and the teeniest bit of something else…jealousy.

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Because mothers are supernatural creatures, my mom knew my feelings even before I did. She asked if I felt a little put out that I wasn’t the first one to get pregnant, me being the older sister and all. I thought about it for two minutes.

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I thought of how I took care of my twin sisters when they were born, helping my mom feed and watch them. I thought of how I was always the one “put in charge” when Mom and Dad were gone, even though Tyler was older. I thought of how I was the first one to be in a serious relationship, the first one to get engaged and married. I thought of how happy Dave and I were just being the two of us for now. And in that two minutes, my jealousy dissipated.

I was not ready to be a mom three years ago. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure Emily was ready to be a mom three years ago. I was wrong. My sister is a wonderful mama; I can only dream to have the patience she does. She slipped into the role of mother so beautifully and easily, I never had the audacity to be surprised.

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When I woke up two years ago today, I cursed myself for having my phone on silent when I saw five missed calls and two voicemails. I listened to my messages while jumping up and down on our bed at home, “Em had the baby! Em had the baby!” Dave was still sleeping and wasn’t as excited as I was (most likely because he was woken out of a dead sleep by shrieks and a foot to the rib cage).

I ran to the store and got the most random hospital gift including a bottle of champagne, a stuffed dinosaur, granola bars, and Yes to Carrots face wipes (hey, who wants to go through the rigamarole of face-washing after giving birth?)

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I was scared to hold Baby A. I was never a babysitter or incredibly attached to kids, and the last babies I’d held were my sisters when they were born–and I was two years old at the time. But as soon as I had her in my arms, I wasn’t afraid anymore. Just like Emily became a mother in a split second, as soon as I held her tiny body in my arms, I became an aunt.

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Two years ago today, Aurelia Moon came into our life when we needed her the most. She made our stagnant lives move again. She made holidays more exciting. She gave me the title of “Aunt” which I wear proudly, and she gave me the courage to try to master the title of “Mom” someday.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Aurelia! Auntie Chel loves her little Moonbeam. And I’ll make sure you always know that.

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