Monday, August 25, 2014

Learning From a Little One - Becoming An Aunt

Whenever I declare that I'm not ready to have a baby, majority of the response I receive is, "You're never really ready. And then when it happens, it becomes second nature." If that is the case, I think Jay and I will take our time. In reality though, I think it is impossible to be prepared for any major life change, whether it's becoming a mom, or even becoming an aunt. I never knew what to expect when my first nephew came into the world eight months ago. It's hard to believe that so much has changed in under a year. How much one tiny human being has had such an impact on the person I am and who I eventually will become. All it took was one look, which eventually turned into a smile, and Judd Harrison had my heart.

I have to admit, when Judd was born I was deathly afraid to hold him. I hadn't been around babies since my brother (and I was only 5 at the time). The anxiety kicked in when it was my turn to hold him. But I knew all I needed to do was sit incredibly still and everything would be alright. Judd's calmness eased my fears as I held him in my arms (although I was awkward as hell). I remember he was sleeping for most of the visit, but for that one moment, he opened his eyes and looked at me as if he knew who I was. I knew my life was never going to be the same. At that moment, I decided I would be that role model for him as he gets older. I want to be there to support my brother and sister-in-laws whenever they need me. To stop by, babysit, or even just be there if they need a familiar adult face. It is so important to me that I be in his life and I wouldn't change it for the world. And I know when it is mine and Jay's turn, Judd will be the cousin that our child can look up to. And play with, and take family vacations down the shore. It is an unbreakable bond and it will be cherished forever.

Judd is special in so many ways, but one in particular that I adore is that he shares the same birthday as my dad. And Christmas Eve at that! There will be so many things to look forward to this winter. By that time, I have the feeling Judd will be walking. He's already crawling, but in a downward dog position on his feet! I've never seen anything quite like it. The kid is strong and boy, is he quick. I spent my Friday off last week with my sister-in-law Caryn and the Juddster. To my amazement, he was picking himself up on the safety gate all by himself! And not only standing, but bobbing up and down like he was dancing. If I didn't know better and met a baby like Judd on the street, I would think he's closer to ten months old. He is so smart and eager to observe the world around him. He even looks different each time I see him - I notice the smallest of changes, like more hair on his head and new facial expressions. It has been a journey to watch him grow and I don't even know what to expect in the next week, or the next month even. But I do know that I'm loving every minute of it.

Judd has also helped me realize that I will be a good mom someday. And although I may not think I'm ready for it, I could evolve into that maternal figure. For now, I can enjoy witnessing all of his defining moments. I can learn from Judd just like he can learn from me. Practice makes perfect, after all. And there is nothing better than learning from your own nephew.

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