Well, I've always been great at being an aunt. (Don't argue with me; I will seriously cut you if you disagree.) But now, there's a whole new generation. My nephew, Alex - the only niece or neph who is an actual blood relative - has a baby. He and his girlfriend became parents early yesterday morning.
The baby - Alexandria, she's called - is tiny. She is wee beyond wee, arriving almost three months before the world was quite ready for her. She will be hanging out in the neonatal ICU for as long as the doctors say, and my bet is that we'll measure that time in months. But the point is that she's here.
Life simply will not wait until we're ready for it. Life happens while you're making plans. Sometimes, life happens while you're sticking your head in the sand ... waiting for something to blow over ... hoping things will get better.
And then, this happens. A new life is created, and you gotta fast-forward into reality. This reality includes a tiny, fragile human in need of support and love (and probably a really cool playlist; do preemies like music?)
Her parents need support and love, too. (And they'd probably appreciate music, come to think of it.) They are young, and they have chosen to become parents at such a tender age. Am I wild about my nephew having this responsibility at a time when getting to an 8:00 class should be his biggest worry? Nope. But there are only two things that actually matter here:
- He is my family.
- I love him.
I think you know where this is going; I choose awesome.
We are called to love; we are called to abandon judgment; we are called to treat one another with kindness. And that starts with family.
So ... welcome to our world, Alexandria. I hope we can manage to give you the love, encouragement and joy that I believe is your birthright. Now your only job is to grow strong.