Back in November, I became an aunt, and I’m really happy about it. My nephew is cute and sweet and absolutely wonderful, and his parents have been doing a truly AMAZING job of being new parents. They’re way more relaxed, more comfortable, and significantly less stressed than I was in the first few months (or, perhaps, the first few years). This whole thing is pretty great. We got to meet him when we were home over Christmas — he was just over a month old when we arrived home. I miss him a lot, and it’s hard to see him growing and changing while we’re so far away. I never would have expected that I would be so far away from home when my first niece or nephew was born. I always imagined that I’d be nearby, able to come over, to bring dinner, to babysit, to answer endless “did your kids …” and “is it normal when …” questions. I haven’t been able to do much of that, and though I know that my mental image may have been based more on fantasy than in fact, it’s undeniable that being so far away has fundamentally changed the dynamic that would have existed if we still lived 45 minutes away.
Adults change slowly. We keep in touch pretty well over Skype, text, email, Facebook. But babies change quickly, and they only get to know the people who are around them a lot. It’s hard to have not been there for his first few months, and for the next few months, and for the rest of however long we are here. I love this adventure, and I am glad that we are here and are doing what we are doing, but I wish we could be having this experience and be about 15 minutes away from our family at the same time.
I am a proud auntie, and I think my nephew is super cool. Thanks to Adam and Kristin for having him and for being amazing parents to him. (And thanks for finally making me Auntie Em!)