Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Taste of Parental Pride

My niece and I dorking out with glow-in-the-dark headbands
and our best model faces on 4th of July 2008.

In June of 2012, my oldest niece is graduating from high school. She hasn't decided exactly where she wants to go to college (has it narrowed to a mere 15 universities), so in November, I'm traveling with her and my sister to check out some schools on the east coast.

The thought of her being so far away makes me feel anxious. I'm pretty used to having her around—I was even in the delivery room when she was born.

My sister and her husband didn't find out the sex of the baby, and when we saw she was a girl, we all cheered. I'll never forget watching her tiny arms waving around like a mad woman as the doctor and my sister pulled her out. It was one of the most amazing things I will ever witness in my life. I'm sure of it.

I guess because I was right there when she came into the world, I've sort of always felt like she was mine. I had no problem disciplining her when she was a surly toddler. I never hold back the million questions about what's going on in her life. I chuckle every time she's sarcastic because it reminds me of myself. 

But a couple weeks ago, I had what felt like the closest thing to a parental pride moment I think I've ever experienced with her.

Throughout high school, she has emailed me her English papers to proofread and help refine. Now, I should mention that the girl is a straight-A student, so she doesn't really need my help. But she sends them nonetheless and I enjoy reading them. Given this routine we've developed, it wasn't a surprise when she sent me a draft of one of her college essays to review.

She wrote about an experience she had while volunteering with her church in the Dominican Republic. Her writing was impeccable. Her story, so moving it nearly brought me to tears at my desk.

I have never been so proud of her.

Not just because she is aces when it comes to writing. I'm proud of the person she has become.

That must be the most amazing feeling for a parent to have. To look at your child and think, "Wow, you are really incredible. The world is lucky to have you in it."

I know she is going to go on to do great things. And I can only imagine how exciting it will be to watch her grow and succeed. How lucky I am to have a seat in the spectator box right next to her real mom and dad.


  1. Awww....this is the cutest blog you have ever written, mainly because it is about my amazing child. I will share her with you since you aren't planning to make me an Aunt again.(I live for the thought that birth control is not 100%...) I can't wait for our trip back east - we are going to have so much fun, and you better be available to dry my tears when we send her off into the big world next year. Remember, that's what BFF's do.

  2. I've always wondered what it was like to have this. All of my extended family lives out of the country so it was just my parents, my younger sister and family friends. I'm close to my aunts in that they're family and we keep updated and they were there when I was born, but it's never been like what you have. She's a very lucky girl. :) Congrats!

    Also, I did that trip when I was a senior and it was awesome!

  3. I feel this way about Finn- having been there in the room when he came into the world and feeling so much love for him. What a sweet relationship you have with her! And what fun to go check out colleges with her. :-)

  4. I think it's pretty unique and very special when an aunt or uncle can have such a long-term and nurturing relationship with a niece or nephew. That's REALLY cool.

  5. This post made me get all teary! You're the best aunt ever. She is really lucky to have you.

  6. Awww. I feel this way about my nephews, that the world is so lucky to have them. It's incredible.

  7. That is so sweet..truly brought tears to my eyes.

  8. This is a beautiful post revealing the closeness and love of our family. Now you can understand the joy and love dad and I have shared with the birth of you 3 kids, watching you grow and the accomplishments you have made in the big world. The pride and love of parenting can never be underestimated. We continue to be proud of all of you, and with the bonus of now watching our grandchildren as they spread their wings and begin to fly towards all of their accomplishments and life's lessons.
    Bursting with love and pride.


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