The Favorite Aunt

My favorite picture of  me and my nephew
There are so many reasons why being the youngest child is great, there are several reasons why it is not so great; but one of my new favorite reasons for the being the youngest as I have aged alongside my siblings (one brother and one sister) is becoming an aunt. Not just an aunt, but the favorite aunt... by default... for now.
My sister, Nicole, and her husband had their first child in March of 2014. I loved that kid even before he was born. It was a weird kind of love, not one I had experienced before, probably because I love my family before I could remember but I had lived 18 years of my life not considering that an inherent and automatic love could just one day manifest in me. I think I can pinpoint the moment that I fell in love with this kid to when I first felt him kick my sister's very pregnant stomach, that's when it became real for me. Now he is nearing two years old and is the most handsome kid I know (I'm 100% biased) and is hilarious, with the most adorable laugh. I've loved watching how his personality and autonomy have developed in the year and a half of his existence. It is so bizarre how quickly babies and toddlers grow. And now here he is, practicing for the terrible twos, throwing temper tantrums and whining like there is no tomorrow, and thus I am able to escape as I am, after all, just the aunt. Even when he's throwing a tantrum when I won't let him play with light switches or won't let him toss things across the room, I still love him endlessly. My heart swells when he toddles, with more an more coordination as the weeks and months go by up to me, and throws his hands up in the air expectedly. "Do you want up?" I always ask, trying to encourage speaking. "Yessssssss." he replies matter-of-factly. "Can you say please?" "Yesssss." For him, yes and please are one and the same. He makes me so happy, I can't wait to see the person he turns into and I'm comforted to know that I will always be Aunt Shay... or "Aunt-E" as he likes to call me.
First photo of my niece
Along with my lovely, little nephew our family is growing. My brother, Jake, and his girlfriend are expecting a little girl... in March. They're be making their way to AK once again in a little under a month. On top of the excitement of having my favorite (and only) brother and his awesome girlfriend within walking distance (literally, just down the hall) I also get to be there for the birth of their first child and my first niece. I can't wait to see my bearded brother holding his baby girl, and my parents holding her for the first time. I can't wait to see what it'll be like for my sister to be an aunt for the first time and have a sort of joking competition of who is the favorite aunt (by the way, it'll totally be me). And more than that I'm excited to see how my nephew and niece will grow up together. Being a military child, I spent the majority of my life away from my aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. I'm excited to see them grow up together and surrounded by the love of their parents, grandparents, uncle, Aunt Nicole, and of course their favorite: Aunt Shay.

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