I know I have made no secret out of the fact that I am quite proud of all of my nieces and nephews. They are all so special to me, and I love them so much. I couldn't be a prouder aunt.
Today is my oldest nephew's 14th birthday. Let's just call him C, and since he's 14 and would kill me if I put a current picture of him on here, so I won't. I'll save the identity of the easily embarrassed teenager.
C has always had a special place in my heart. I was 15 years old when I first became an aunt. He was not expected, but he couldn't have been a bigger blessing in our family. My brother and his wife were in college, and they worked hard in school all week and each had weekend jobs, so my parents would take C for the weekends to help him out. As a teen, that would mean I would get to spend lots of time entertaining my nephew, which I gladly did. I got so excited when he came over for the weekend.
Weekends were always better when C was at our house.
I can't believe he's 14 now.
It's hard to believe that the same little baby who used to save all of his spit up for his special aunt, especially right when she put on a special outfit for the day. (It's ok, I forgive him...)
It's hard to believe that the kiddo who used to sleep in the room next to mine and used to knock on the walls to wake me up first thing in the morning when it was time to watch Blue Clues. I, of course, would get up and gladly watching the show with him. (Did you they show the same damn show 5 days in a row each week? Yeah, it's ok, I did it). He was so cute wearing his "Steve" green striped shirt and using his "thinking chair" to figure out the "clues."
This is the kid who gave me the nickname "Nain." He couldn't say my real name, so it came out as "Nain," and it has kind of stuck.
I grew up with C. He was at our house every weekend, or I would go to my brother's apartment at college to spend time with them.
As he grew up, he became my buddy. I would take him on special "Nain/C" dates - movies and hot chocolate, Dairy Queen after his first day of kindergarten. I even sufferingly sat through "Spy Kids 3D," which I have recently made fun of him for when he teased his younger brother about movies he liked.
This is the same kid whose pictures I had all over my dorm room when I went off to college to cheer me up. He even came to visit me at school, and I took a picture of him up on my freshman loft. He was so excited.
This is the same kid who I (accidentally) taught how to cuss. Seriously, I didn't mean to, but one Sunday dinner, as a cute little C sits across from me at Sunday dinner with my family going "shh..shhh...shhhhit" looking me dead in the eye. Ummm....oops?
This is the same kid who saw his Aunt Nain go through a series of heartbreaks in high school and college. The same kid who tried to cheer me up after a pretty bad break up by hugging me and asking "why are you crying you, Aunt Nain? Is it because your heart is broken?" How could I not smile when looking into that cute little face?
The same kid who two years ago met T for the first time and wouldn't let him out of his sight when the three of us were alone in the house. (What can I say? The kid is protective!)
The same boy who helped my parents move me into my law school apartment, looked around the place, and he said "Aunt Nain, will you be lonely here?" So he sent me a "Be Happy" chart, which I kept on my fridge for years. I still have it around here somewhere...
I just can't believe that this little kid is now the 5'10" nephew who is quickly turning into an awesome adult. Not only is he about a foot taller than me, but he's turned into this quick-witted man with good taste in movies, TV, and music. Heck, his iTunes selection puts ME to shame! He's a 2nd degree black belt, an alto saxophonist in his 8th grade band, and a Boy Scout leader. He's the sweet kid I danced with at my wedding, joking about Family Guy quotes to make him laugh.
WHEN did he grow up? Did I miss something here? Can I just slow time down here a bit?
So happy birthday to you, C. Your Aunt Nain couldn't be prouder to have you as a nephew. I feel so blessed to get to watch you become into the man you're becoming.
This first time I ever held C. Don't judge the 1990s hair and Cosby sweater....