Dear Niece: Here’s What’s Coming

Hey F.A.S,

You and I haven’t hung out much yet; you’ve been busy being an infant and I’ve been busy taking children to the hospital.  Well, there was that one time when I baby sat you but you mostly screamed and I mostly wore noise-cancelling headphones. We didn’t get to chat.  I did get to see you recently over Christmas.

Neither of your parents are the oldest kids so they don’t know what it’s like to have your most important developmental years spent with two adults who dote on you and to have only adults to emulate (the fact that you really liked your play sink to wash dishes should be a good indication that you’ve been observing your mama).

I recognized my feisty, older sister spirit in you. Strong-willed. Even with your limited language capabilities, you could say, “No, I do it” or shake your head and hand simultaneously to indicate that you didn’t want any help.  You were very interested in making sure that everyone had their correct phones and that The Baby (my kid) had his bottle, even if he wasn’t interested in drinking at that particular moment.

Your mama birthed your two little brothers today, like a total badass.

I wanted to let you know what’s coming.

When I got to hold your mom for the first time, I was four and a half. She was a bald-headed, wiggly little thing but that didn’t matter. As soon as she landed in my arms, that baby was mine and everyone knew it. I cried when my grandparents wanted to hold her.

We fought ALOT when we were little. She even called me a bitch once and then cried when I threatened to tell mom. I simultaneously didn’t want her to be around but also knew innately that she needed my supervision and wise guidance.  I bossed Leah around alot, but she needed it. She would have been lost without me. (I’m kidding. Kinda.)

My parents called me “Little Mama” and that’s not far off. Truthfully, I probably felt as much pride as they did watching Leah pole-vault or graduate. Pops and I stood at the back of an old theater at her wedding, trying not to cry while Leah threatened us and hissed, “DON’T LOOK AT ME” so we wouldn’t all start bawling.

Sure, your little brothers have parents, but they’re going to mostly be watching you. This can feel like alot of pressure, but it will also be your greatest gift.  Sometimes the feeling that (for you) four sets of little eyes are on you will make you mad, but mostly it will make you feel responsible and it will push you to be better. You might bicker but you’ll secretly, fiercely love them more than you’ve loved anything. As the boys grow up and do new things or make good decisions, you’ll feel proud. I mean, your parents will too but you and I will both know that you had a hand in it.

And someday, when ya’ll are grown up, your brothers will be able to articulate what you’ve meant to them and your heart will be so full because you’ll have spent almost your whole life loving them.

These are your babies and everyone knows it.

Welcome to the big sister club.

Love, Aunt Beth



4 thoughts on “Dear Niece: Here’s What’s Coming

  1. Speaking as the eldest of three girls, you nailed it! Nice letter to be read many years in the future, but right on target!

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