9/6/08

Aunt Deb's Clearing A Space For Kale's Picture

We have a new baby in our family! Our nephew and his precious wife had a baby girl yesterday morning and named her Kale...I love her name, and she's gorgeous too!

Nephews and nieces are a blessing to me...

When I married Mark, way back when, I became an instant aunt to 6...my family was small, and with my younger brother still in high school back then, there were no children in our family at the time. Mark, on the other hand, was a very young uncle due to the age difference between he and his brothers..I think he first became an uncle at 8 years old!

His family became my family, his parents, his brothers, his sisters-in-law (became my sisters) and the nephews and nieces became mine...in my heart and mind, I'd always desired that kinship to their family, as if I had been born into it...and I was blessed because that's what happened. I got a bigger family, with all the usual and unique ups and downs.

The older nephews and nieces have always been precious to me, the 4 boys and 2 girls, because they were the 'firsts'. They were the ones who taught me how to be an aunt. Like I said before, I hadn't been around young children as a teenager (I had never even held a baby until I was around 17). And even though miles sometimes kept us from seeing each other, I was just taken with them.

I started out dating Mark at 16 and then marriage at 20, and our first child didn't arrive until I was 24...so I had quite a few years where these guys were the only kiddos in my life...from ping-pong games and Christmas spent in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment, road trips to Michigan and back, to graduations...they were the children and then teenagers in my life...

and now they are all adults...
grownups with grown up responsibilities...
children, homes, careers, businesses, friendships...
and their grownup lives are on display in our home...
pictures of them as couples, as families
with their children adore our walls...

so my hope is, that because of them, I have been a better aunt
to my brother's sweet young three, and to this second generation
of 'great' nephews and nieces...

but sometimes I go back to the morning of our wedding,
back 22 years ago,
when Ma gathered her six grandchildren up
with her youngest son...

by the way, the little guy up front in the gray suit with his hands in his pockets is Kale's daddy...

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