The Greater Good
My sister gave birth to my first niece in 2016. A year prior to that, I moved to Houston, Texas so I wasn’t able to be with her through her pregnancy. Once A’Raya came into this world, my status was upgraded to “Aunty” and nothing would be the same.
One of the things I’ve worried about is my absence as this tiny human grew up. I want her to know who I am and that her Aunty just wants to love and spoil her. Being out of state has been a challenge, and at times frustrating.
The first time I held her was beautiful. She was just a few months old, and nestled right into my neck like it was familiar. I was in heaven!
I’ve never had children of my own but have always wanted them. In my first marriage, we never quite seemed to be on the same page with when to have them. When the marriage began to fall apart, my hopes of having a family were gone.
As a woman who desperately wants children, you never want reach that conclusion in your soul; certainly not out loud. The fear is that if you accept it, you’re not going to be able to live life the same. So, you hold on.
When I went home for Christmas 2017, A’Raya was a year and a half. She didn’t know who I was but I was able to win her over by playing chase and sharing potato chips. Her little smile was everything and I thought seriously about moving back home. How would she know me if I am not there?
This past Christmas, I went home for two weeks. Preparing for the trip, I prayed that she would remember me, Aunty, after all the FaceTime calls we had throughout the year.
The blessing of my visit was not only being Aunty to A’raya but meeting my second niece, 3 month old Nevaeh for the first time. I must have heard “Aunty!!” a thousand times and still couldn’t get enough. We played, we sang, we danced, we ate, we cuddled, we made silly videos, and I was reminded of the unlimited energy that only tiny humans can bring.
Sitting on the plane headed back to California, I cried. I miss my family and often feel out of the loop. But then I had to remember my reasons for leaving: to enlarge my vision, advance my writing career, and step outside of my box.
One day, my nieces will be old enough to understand this and hopefully be proud. They will be able to see what is possible and have the courage to step out of their own box.
Everything we do in our own lives has a direct effect on someone else. Every decision we make, no matter how lonely it can be, is for the greater good of something special. So, more flights home and more FaceTime calls, until God says otherwise. Aunty will always be in full effect.