...but, I'M AN AUNT! It's been better in just about every way than I could have imagined. The second I laid eyes on the first picture my sister sent, I was in LOVE. I was anxious the whole day to go see him, and when I walked into the hospital room, my heart full-on melted. People who've seen the picture of me holding him with Buddy at my side said they've never seen such joy on my face. It's entirely true. I was happy and relieved to be happy and my heart was full and I was proud and I was feeling every other feeling all at once. I remember feeling like my smile must look fake, it was so big, but I was completely not in control of it at that point.
His arrival has been so incredibly healing. I used to battle with resentment about my Sis and BIL living so far from us and thinking we'd never see them, and worried I wouldn't even want to see them. In reality, I decided on the day of his birth that I would spend an afternoon a week with him and give Sis a chance to rest, do chores or errands, go to the gym, whatever. The bonding time with him has been amazing. I get to see all the little changes from week to week. At 5 weeks, my sister shocked me left me alone with him - I was amazed she trusted me with her baby, and it meant more than I can express. At 6 weeks, I got to give him his first bottle. At 8 weeks, he started spending more time away and playing. Now, he's awake almost the entire time I'm there and we have chats and play and read books and take a billion pictures and videos. It's my favorite part of the week. As a bonus, my sister and I are closer than we've ever been. Nephew has healed me in ways he'll never comprehend.
That's not to say there haven't been difficulties. I was hesitant to see my parents as grandparents at first, and that's still hard sometimes. My family planned a trip to Hawaii without mentioning it to me and Buddy and that turned into a Big Thing just a week after another Big Thing about feeling left out and out of place in the family. That was really hard. This past weekend, my parents hosted what I guess would kind of be like a sip-and-see to meet my nephew, and it was bittersweet. Seeing my grandmother hold him almost broke my heart.
But, yeah. I'm an aunt. And I have every intention of being the best aunt that sweet boy could ever ask for.