Thursday, December 8, 2011

What it feels like to become an aunt

I am the baby of the family. While a lot of my friends had younger brothers or sisters, I was that younger sister. I never knew what it was like to hold someone in my arms and know that no matter what, I would protect this little one till the death. My parents were done having babies after me, so I didn't get to watch the miracle of pregnancy in my family. The closest I ever got was a family friend or discovery channel.

The love between a sibling is one that is just amazing. As I've grown up, I've watched the bond between my brother and I grow and evolve. When I was just a baby, I was that tolerated little sister. I would follow my big brother around, get locked out of his room, and retaliate by singing barney as loud as I could in front of his door. Even at the youngest age, I still remember just wanting to be by my big brother and his friends, just sitting and hanging out. Or "playing" at that age.

Then a few years later, the relationship changed again. Instead of that little girl, I was now a kid. My brother and I were much more playful and teasing. We would try to beat each other to wake up on Christmas morning, just so that we could go and jump and tickle the other one awake. I usually won. No more would he hold me upside down by my "stinky" feet, but instead sit and talk with me. Nothing super important, but just being able to talk to my big brother was enough.

Again, I grew up. Instead of playing outside with me, Nana (his nickname, pronounced NaeNae, his real name is Nathan) was taking me to my first concert, even though he detested the music. I was going to sporting games with him, because even though sports bore me, the best parts weren't the game, but the being together. We started the tradition of actually waking up early on Thanksgiving (we both hate waking up early) and going to the parade down in Detroit. Our relationship was growing more and more into a friendship, instead of simply the little sister and big brother.

Over the last year, Nana (I will call him that until I die) has been there for me more than ever. Through the worst times and the best. He took me to my first club, let me drink (responsibly! Sorry mom. Don't get mad at him!) and escape to his house when all I wanted to do was crawl into a hole. He was there visiting me at the hospital, holding my hand telling me I would get better. I saw his fierce protection of me when he wanted to kill the asshole who hurt me and the asshole who told me I just needed to grow up.

Now, you may be wondering why I am talking about my brother when this post is about me becoming an aunt. Well, my big brother became a daddy on December 6th, 2011, to Ella Nicole McClain. This is where I come in.

My mom called me at an ungodly hour in the morning (9am!!) to tell me that Tammy's (my soon to be sister in law) water had broke. She was going up to the hospital to be with Nana and Tammy. She would keep me posted, and let me go back to sleep. Now when I woke up around 11, I was a jumble of emotions. I was excited, because my niece was going to be born, but very disappointed because I wouldn't be able to be there. When I called my mom again, she mentioned that she thought I should race down there (ok, maybe I just thought I should race down there. I'm pretty sure she even made it clear that I should drive carefully) and be there to meet Ella. And that is exactly what I did.

When I got to the hospital, it was perfect timing. I was walking in the room the same time my mom and Tammy's mom Linda were. When I walked up to the little bassinet, I immediately knew. My life was never going to be the same.

Now everyone thinks that their baby is perfect. But Ella, wow. She really was. Her little body and perfect coloring. The cutest little nose I have ever seen. Even her soft head of red hair was perfect. Just looking at her in there, I knew that this little person already meant so much to me. I suddenly could see all the dress ups and make believes, the barbie games, and movie dates I would be taking this little girl on. I could see her telling me about her first crush, how horrible her teacher was and her friends at school. I knew that I wanted to be everything I could to my little niece. I wanted to be her knight in shining armor, there to save the day whenever she is blue.

When I held her in my arms, it was like nothing I had ever experienced. I had held babies before, but this. This is was something so much different. Again, the wave of emotions went through me. I didn't know I could love someone so much that I barely even knew. That I wouldn't be able to know until she grew up a bit. But I did. Again, all I wanted was to protect her with every inch of my life. I wanted to hold her and kiss on her and love on her. I wanted to do everything (except change her diaper, I'm not a fan of doing that. That is her mom and dad's job) I could. I knew that my life of simply being a teenager had changed into being an aunt. It had changed into being an aunt in under a minute, and I didn't even care.

The proud parents, Tammy and Nathan
My big brother with his little girl
"Papa" and "Nana"

Ella Nicole McClain
7 lbs 3 oz 20" long
Born on December 6th, at 2:34pm

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