My cousins had kids at a young age and so I was around babies and kids for quite some time now. We seemed to have new babies being born into the family every two years if not yearly. The first of the babies was my cousin Nikki. For 10 years I was the baby of the family, and then she came. I was not at all intimidated by her coming, I was actually excited too. I waited with the rest of her family outside the delivery room. At the time, I don’t think we knew she was a girl yet.
I was too young to really take care of her then, but I’d like to think I kinda did. Or else I gushed over her and played with her like she was a stuffed toy. Hehehe. She grew up at a wonderful time in our family. Really. But her being the baby was cut off abruptly at the age of… maybe about 3 or 4. We had two new baby girls born 2 days apart to two of my cousins. They were the cutest and most adorable babies ever.
Being in highschool then, I was really more like one of their caregivers, or so I’d like to think. One of them was the first infant I ever really carried in my arms. I remember having been nervous about it too. We lived right across the street from them at that time, in our old neighborhood. I always found myself going there just to see them, kiss them or hold them close.
As toddlers, I took one of them to my highschool sportsfest and she got scared of the clowns!
Then there were times that they would sleepover at our house. Even when we moved an hour away, they would be glad to go and stay the night with me – they so loved my stuffed toys. hahaha.
I remember one time, only one of the girls went home with me and it was during the time her mom was working overseas… She was so sweet and innocent and so missing her mom. She asked me to sing to her like her mom used to. And we said “I love you” in different languages, just the way her mom used to do at bedtime.
She just graduated from gradeschool and will be taking exams to enter the highschool that the other girl is already attending (she was delayed one year). And today, I was just so surprised (and admittedly a bit disappointed) that there was something in them that I would have never expected from what used to be such sweet little girls.
I took them out to the arcade and a movie this afternoon. I invited another niece, a year or two younger than them. Another friend of theirs tagged along too. They really seemed to have a lot of fun. Unintentionally, I ruined it for them at the end of our evening. I just couldn’t pass up not talking to them about the behavior I hear they’ve displayed recently (one’s misbehavior is totally not connected with the other’s, by the way). I couldn’t let it go, I didn’t want them to continue being like that. It’s just not them.
I didn’t like being the person to lecture, I’d prefer being the fun aunt or older sister. I told them that. But I sincerely hoped I made my intentions clear with them, which I tried so hard to explain. I have high hopes that in the future, they just might thank me for that talk.
In a way, though I am not their mother and not even a first-degree aunt, I feel responsible too for however they turn out. I used to bring them along with me to work, or to just go strolling in the mall, and to some event or another. I used to teach them stuff. Then I just stopped. These two weren’t really born in the best of times or circumstances. Though we all did our best to raise them as generally happy children, I know there are some aspects of their lives that could be the subject of teen angst and God knows they are nearly at that stage already. Somehow I think that is what’s causing the misbehaving. I just truly truly hope they know they have loving moms and aunts around them (and there are a number of us) who will be willing to hear them rant and are actually anxious to find out how they feel deep inside.
Anyhoo, it probably is a good idea to just stay visible for them and to keep on taking advantage of the fact that they still like hanging out with me. I know they wouldn’t be that way for long.