I Never Knew Love Until I Knew You

I was talking to my mom about nothing when I got the text.

“Can you please pray for me today?”
“Yeah, of course. What’s going on?”
“I got a positive test back so I’m going to the doctor today.”
“Keep me updated ok? I’m right here if you need anything.”
“Ok. Are you alright? Do you need to talk it out?”
“I’m 100% pregnant.”

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I couldn’t imagine what she was feeling in that moment. She had dreams of law school, of turning 21 and going on a bar crawl with our crew, of living on her own before getting married. Now all of that was hanging in the balance as she faced being a young mother. Sure, she and your father were going to get married anyway. And sure, she was lucky enough to have supportive, loving parents. But there was so much left to the unknown. Where would they live? Where would the money come from? What kind of mother would she be?

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 4.34.13 PM.pngOf course, I already knew the answer to that. She’d be wonderful. We’d basically been parenting each other since our freshman year of college. If she could deal with college freshman me, she could deal with whatever you threw her way. No matter what, she’d love you more than she’d ever loved another human being.

On August 17, 2017 at 6:54 in the evening, my dear college friend gave birth to an incredible baby boy and changed my life forever.

There you were. The little baby bumble bee. Your parents had called me Aunt Kristy Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 4.31.28 PM.pngsince we found out you were on your way, but now it was all real. I’ll never forget the first time I held you and you looked into my eyes. In that moment, nothing in the world mattered, but you. I was overcome with joy and an immense feeling of responsibility. I wanted to protect you from everything bad in the world and just keep you that small. That innocent. You were only a few weeks old and you were already making little worried faces. “Oh God,” I said to your mother, “He’s already inherited our level of anxiety.”

But you’re the happiest baby. The older you’ve gotten, the more independent you’ve become. You love to be alone and people watch. Giggling to yourself just taking in the world around you. And you bring so much joy to us all by simply existing. You give us hope for the future and a million reasons to keep going.

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 4.35.16 PM.pngI eventually found myself in your parent’s living room crying over a silly boy. I put my head in my hands and wept as your mom fell silent. A moment later I sensed her standing in front of me. I looked up and my eyes met yours. She was holding you in front of me and you had the brightest little smile spread across your face. With tears still streaming down my face, I held you. Your tiny worry lines began to form as your little hand reached up to my face, confused by everything going on. And once again, nothing else mattered. Just this little life that I loved so very much.

You kick your tiny feet and giggle in excitement when I come to visit. I’m told you do the same when you hear my voice over the phone. I don’t know that I’ve ever been loved so purely by anyone, especially someone that isn’t even old enough to understand what that means. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt such a responsibility to be there for someone. To see you through every step of life. From the first time I heard you giggle, to rolling and sitting up on your own, to teething and beyond.

I don’t know that I really knew love until I knew you. I don’t love you because I have to Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 4.33.42 PM.pngor because your just so darn cute. I don’t love you because you’re the child of one of my dearest friends. I love you because I know you’re going to be great. Because you’re going to need someone to sneak you cookies and buy you stuff you could do without. You’re going to need someone to pick you up when you decide to drink for the first time and need a safe place to sleep it off, but are too terrified to call your parents. You’re going to need someone to tell you how stupid it was to drink that much, but still sit next to you when you have to tell your mom and dad. You need someone you can’t say “You’re just saying that because you’re my mom” to because I’m the ~cool~ aunt and you have to believe me (even though I’m saying the exact same thing your mom did). You’re going to need a village to love you and I plan on being a life long resident.

I can’t wait to get to know the little man you’re going to grow into. I love you, Baby B.

painted-heartAunt Kristy

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