To me the very best thing about being the youngest child in a family is the gift of being an aunt when I was still single and able to focus all of my love and attention on my wonderful niece.
When my middle sister was born my eldest sister was told that this was her baby to help take care of, to protect and to love. My middle sister was told the same thing about me. I always knew that I would get my turn when my eldest sister had her first child. My niece was born on a Tuesday night when I was in first year university. I remember it so clearly – not the birth itself as I wasn’t there – but I remember phoning during the break from my 3 hour night class and I found out that my sister
had finally given birth to a beautiful baby girl. I say finally because my niece was a
full 4 weeks overdue and my sister had been induced twice. My niece continues to
light up a room when she makes an entrance. At that time, I was too excited to go
back to class and although it was too late to get to the hospital I had to get home to
share in our family’s joy. The next day I got to see her and she was even more
beautiful than I could imagine. Holding her was like nothing I had ever felt before.
Her beauty and innocence warmed me to my core. And oh, that wonderful baby
Long before my own children, my niece taught me that there is nothing like the feel of the wind in your hair as you sit on a swing, that if you love someone you should run at her with your arms open wide every time you see her, and that if you love someone enough you’ll do whatever she wants you to, even if it means sitting in a hot car in the summer while she pretends to drive (again and again). Most importantly she taught me that if you give love unconditionally it is given right back to you and that if you’re lucky enough the relationship can last a lifetime.
Happy birthday Enya I have had the privilege of watching you grow into a loving, thoughtful and strong woman who fills us all with warmth and pride whenever we see your smiling face.
Thank you Big Shvester and Accountant Man for always letting me come over to share in your joy even when you were probably quite sick of all of the family.
I make no apologies for the sappiness of this post.