One of the only things that comes even nearly close to being as wonderful as being a mom myself has been getting to be an aunt to my nephew. Even though I’m very far away, and I’ve only ever spent a few days with him, I love him and miss him in a way that is quite unique. Being an aunt is pretty fantastic. I get to watch in awe as this little person grows and learns and changes and becomes more and more himself every day, but I don’t have any of the responsibility of actually raising him. It’s a pretty sweet deal, actually, and I get now what everyone has meant all these years when they talk about their nieces and nephews.
In honor of his (not so recent) arrival, I wanted to share with his amazing parents some of the things that, being a parent myself, I know that they know now. (Welcome to the club, guys!)
- Your parents were really serious all those times they said that you didn’t really understand the way that they loved you. But now you do.
- You have a whole new appreciation for how well your parents really did all those years, especially given that you know now that they really didn’t have any idea what they were doing a lot of the time.
- Now you get why all of your parent-friends and parent-relatives are sometimes unexpectedly late or absent from social events. Because: baby.
- Most likely, you know more now about prayer than you ever have before in your life.
- You now know that for reasons that no one will ever understand, babies always wake up early on days you could possibly sleep in, and sleep in on days you have to be somewhere early.
- You know now that all parents are profoundly insecure. None of us actually knows what we’re doing, and we all make (sometimes massive) mistakes.
- You know now that your nose will always be itchiest in the middle of the worst diaper changes.
- You know now that you absolutely could and would harm anyone who tried to hurt your child.
- You know now that the fantasy and the reality of curling up for a nap with your little one are completely different.
- You know now how terrified you can be because of a little fever in the middle of the night.
- You now wish you could kick yourself for all the times you wanted to skip a nap as a child.
- You now know that the cards you made with macaroni and glitter really WERE your parents’ favorite gifts.
- You know now that the world is full of people who feel all these same things about their children . . . and that changes your view of the world quite a bit.
I love you guys, and I love my wonderful little nephew. Welcome to the big, wonderful, terrifying world of parenting. It’s a gigantic adventure!