In 1981 when I was a sophomore in college, my first niece was born. In the days before email and digital cameras, I first saw her in a blurry Polaroid snapshot sent to me from the mountains of Colorado. And it was love at first sight.
When she was still a baby her parents divorced and my sister brought her back to Kansas. Though sad about the situation, I was thrilled to have this darling brown-eyed baby close by. And thus began our journey.
She was a tiny little girl, petite and seemingly fragile. But she had a large spirit, a sparkling laugh and filled a nurturing part of my heart. For awhile she was the only niece, the only grandchild and she bathed in the "first" glow with our attention and love. She was like my own in ways as we flew kites, went trick-or-treating and spent time together. I was her "Ya-Ya"; the only one she'd let comb her hair, the quiet aunt who held her close and brought her comfort.
And time moved on. I got married and started a family, and though my focus shifted to my own little girl and boy, there was always a soft spot in my heart for my Lyndsee.
Last October she was married on a beautiful Autumn day. It was one of the loveliest days I've had in awhile as our family came together to celebrate with her. Though many weddings are harried and stressful, this was a day of great joy where we were able to spend a lot of time with one another, relishing our close ties of being in a large family and having enough love to go around.
Early last spring she and her husband announced that they would be new parents just before their first wedding anniversary. We learned early on that it would be a girl and my mind flashed back to those twenty-five years ago when another little girl was born. The time has moved so quickly and it hardly seemed possible that she would be a mother herself.
Yesterday my sister called with the news: Berklee Kathleen came into this world at 10:09 a.m. At 6 lbs 1 oz. she will also be a tiny girl....and I'm anxious to see those familiar brown eyes when I hold her for the first time tomorrow. And so it begins again. A new cycle of life, a wonderful beginning.
Welcome to the world, Berklee. What love awaits you!