As a child, well as an 11-year-old, Christmas morning was the best morning of the year. It’s the day “Santa” comes to visit with all the toys and games you’ve been asking for all year. My Christmas as an 11-year-old came with more than just the regular gifts you’d expect; I received the news that my older sister was five months pregnant with a baby girl. I was going to become an aunt, which is one of the best gifts anyone could ask for. My mom had told me and my younger sister who was at the time nine that we had a niece on the way just before my older sister had arrived to open gifts with us.
My little sister’s, Maureen’s, first response was “she’s pregnant? I thought she was just getting fat”, which of course followed with laughter from me and my mom. For me, I was beyond excited; we were going to have a new baby in the family. A baby means a lot of work and responsibility. With my sister still being at the young age of 20, I knew that everyone in my family would be helping out a lot. I was prepared to help out in any way that I could. I even learned how to change a diaper just in case anyone needed me too.
I remember the ride to the hospital to meet my new baby niece; it was warm outside because spring was just about to start. I will never forget the first time that I got to hold my new niece. If you’ve never held a newborn baby, it’s hard to explain exactly what it’s like. There’s a new smell that you can only get from being around new babies, and it felt as if I was holding a pillow in my arms because she was so light.
My niece Caileigh was born on March 31, 2010. When we took my niece into the car to take her home, I played with her hands the whole way home. She had such tiny little hands that could barely wrap around my fingers. She still couldn’t open her eyes, but when she finally could, they were the biggest bluest eyes I have ever seen. We gave her the nickname of the Michelene man, because she had so many fat rolls all over her body. Soon enough we started calling her Buddha, too, and to this day we still do.
My niece being born was one of the most significant parts of my life so far; the only thing that comes close to this experience was my nephew being born. My niece is now six, and is one of the biggest parts of my life. Along with my nephew, of course, who is now two. I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world because they are my world.