Sunday, February 1, 2009
One of my proudest accomplishments to date I would have to say is that of becoming an Aunt. I know what you're thinking...I really had nothing to do with it, and I really do have to hand it to both my sisters, they've done something that I'm still not sure I could ever do myself. I have 2 nieces, and one nephew, as well as Bianca, who is my sisters boyfriends daughter whom I love just the same as I do my other nieces and nephew.
Bianca was born shortly after I moved to London, I didn't get to see her much on my first few visits home, but as she got older she got to spend more time with Angela and Cameron, so the likelihood that I would get to see her grew, and now not a visit goes by where I don't get the chance. When she was younger, because I'd only get to come home every few months, she would forget me, which made me sad, but I understood. One day I was out shopping and I came across an adorable little hat, it was bright yellow, with a little bumblebee on it, I have a fetish for silly hats, so I wanted it for myself, but it didn't fit, so I thought, how perfect, Bee for Bianca! I brought it home with me on my next trip to give to her and even though she wasn't to sure of who I was, or why I was trying to put this hat on her, surely enough a few days after I had left she started walking around the house with it on, talking about her "hat from Manna". After that she started to remember me more and more, and now I have no trouble chasing her down for a hug and a kiss when I come home for visits.
The next oldest is my sister Jackie's daughter Abigayle, who is about to turn 2 in a few weeks. I've never had a problem with her being unsure of who I am, my problem was getting her to say my name when she started to talk and talk and talk. One long drive back from London with my mom and sister, I spent the entire ride in the back seat with her trying to get her to say my name, but completely failed, but I was determined. Sadly that was in the summer, and the next time I got to see her wasn't until Christmas, but I was still determined to go home getting to hear my niece say my name, so I tried again, and failed. She would say everyone's name except my own! Finally on Christmas Eve, I think she finally got frustrated with my trying, looked at me, said my name, and walked away. It was one of my best Christmas presents that I've ever gotten! I continued the rest of the visit to try to get it out of her again, but I only ever got to hear it the once. But I guess that wasn't the end of it. I got a message from my sister the other day telling me that she needed to call me. Abigayle will not stop saying my name now, she even woke up the other day calling for me aparently. She is even asking for my boyfriend Ryan! I think I may have brainwashed her somehow. But thismorning before work, I finally got in touch with my sister, and got to have a few different conversations with Abi where she would say my name lots, and she kept saying it in the background as well. I once had a friend tell me that the first time he heard his nephew call him by his name, it brought tears to his eyes, and now I believe it, because I definately welled up a little bit. She even wanted to talk to Ryan on the phone and said his name, which brought a big smile to his face, which says alot. I think she's very special to Ryan, even though he doesn't like to admit it, she's the first kid I've ever seen to melt his heart, and he's really not a big fan of them most of the time.
The two newest additions are my niece and nephew, Liberty, and Austin. Liberty was born in October to my sister Angela, she's her first child, and went through an amazing labour without any help from any drugs, apparently the nurses were even incredibly impressed by it. Liberty is just full of smiles, the entire time I was home for the holidays she would just sit in her seat and smile smile smile. Then there's Austin, born in November, he's the first little boy to be born into the Ray family since my dad and Uncle Jay (who are twins). I've always been very nervous wit babies, considering I've never really been around them much, and definately never felt the need to just pick them up and hold them. But Austin is so calm, quiet, and just sleeps, that I was completely at ease during the holiday, and I even found that when I was holding him, I really didn't want to give him up to other people.
So far being an aunt has come pretty easy to me other than the tireless hours I spent knitting baby blankets for them at Christmas, I just hope it will always come so easy, that I'll always be able to be there for them the way I want to be, and especially that they'll view me as the "Cool Aunt" instead of the "Crazy Aunt". They're still very new to this world, but I'm so excited to spend the rest of my life watching them grow, and seeing what life has in store for them, and just being there for them along the way no matter what they need.