To My Nieces And Nephew, Who Taught Me Love

To My Nieces And Nephew, Who Taught Me Love

I learned to love because of you.

163
views

When I was 11 years old, there was no part of me that thought I could even begin to love in the deepest form possible. I thought that love was reserved for the person you marry, or the children you might grow up to have. Looking back, I laugh at my naivety in believing that love is 'reserved' for people.

While yes, I love my parents and my family with my whole heart, it wasn't until I held my first niece in my arms that I loved with my entire being. I didn't know what to expect when my dad was driving me to meet my niece for the first time on December 23rd. I was only 11, being an aunt wasn't something I had ever truly thought about so young.

Holding my niece in my arms that day, I didn't care what being an aunt was supposed to entail, all I cared about was making sure that the little girl I was looking down at grew up knowing she is so immensely loved.

My second niece was born in 2013. I have to admit, and I feel that I can now, that I was scared to have a second niece. What if we didn't connect? What if it felt different watching her grow up, like we weren't as close? What if I couldn't love her the way I so immediately loved my first niece?

As I walked into the hospital room, I remember those being some of my last thoughts before I saw her. All of those completely idiotic thoughts melted away when I saw her. I thought my heart was going to feel like it was divided into sections for these two girls, but what I realized in that moment is that I had two hearts. However, unlike the one inside my body, these two little girls were the physical embodiment of what keeps me alive.

So here I was, for the third time, going to the hospital awaiting to see if my sister had given birth to another girl or maybe this time a boy. "It's a boy!" was the first exhilarating thought I had when I found out. "Oh no, it's a boy!" was the second. "I don't know a single thing about boys!" was the third. And then I held him. I don't know why I still had doubts, because the third times the charm right? But I was still terrified that I wouldn't be able to love more.

I remember the day distinctly that my sister and her kids were spending the night. My nephew was still only months old, and as my mom and sister were getting my nieces ready for bed, I was told to keep my nephew occupied. Up until this point, while I loved my nephew enormously, we hadn't connected, and I was terrified we never would. I took him into my room, and we sat down in front of my mirror, and as I made faces at him, he laughed at my reflection. It was in that exact moment, that I grew a third heart indefinitely, because my nephew and I had bonded in a way that we had been missing.

To this day, with a seven year old niece, five year old niece, and two year old nephew, I can honestly say that I have learned to love deeper than the deepest love imaginable. I have learned to love with my heart outside of my body, something I didn't even know was possible, but also something I would not change in another world.

Popular Right Now

The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
626055
views

Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support

460
views

First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,

Haiden

Related Content

Facebook Comments