I am their Aunt.
I watched; as they grew inside their mother’s womb. I’d put my hand on her stomach and feel them move. I’d smile.
A boy. He was battered and bruised from a traumatic birth. I watched his cousins say “he’s beautiful” to his Mum. I told them not to mention his injuries as they’d hurt his Mum’s feelings. I saw; the creation of a new mother’s love come into being.
A girl. I watched; as she entered the world and was gently placed on her mother’s stomach. She cried when she looked upon her tiny daughter.
I watched; when they were 2 and 3 years old and their dad left their Mum. Who would have known they’d grow up in a single parent household. Not I. Not anyone.
I watched; as their Mum struggled to bring them both up, on her own when they were so little. I watched; as she went back to work and put them in childcare so she could keep paying the bills. And I held her when she cried; because she didn’t plan for them not to have a dad living in the same house, like most of their friends had.
I was there for their first day of school. I watched; as they walked through the gate, struggling to hold those big school bags on their backs.
I watched their tantrums and I went to their home to be the “tough” one when they were giving their Mum a hard time. They could be little terrors at times! I heard; when then called me “The Commando”.
I watched; as the doctor told their Mum she had cancer. And I watched over them in the hospital as she had surgery. It was a tough year.
I watched a little girl; struggling with a big vacuum cleaner to try and help her Mum clean the house. I watched a little boy, who would lean close to his Mum when she slept, not wanting to wake her, but just making sure she was still breathing. I watched; as they both went through things that no child should ever have to go through.
But do you know what I’ve seen with all of my watching?
He – is one incredible and amazing young man. He has so much integrity and I’m proud of the man he is becoming. He is only 15, but he seems so much older. A true gentle-man. A man any young woman would be proud to take home and introduce to her parents.
She – is not just my niece, she is “my sister”. A 14 year old young woman, a nurturer, who cares about others with amazing empathy and compassion that most girls her age do not possess. She is beautiful and witty, smart and intelligent. Her heart for social justice and what is right is so powerful in such a young woman.
But I don’t just watch them. I pray for them; I encourage them; and I am one of their most ardent supporters. But more than anything.
I love them. I am their Aunt.
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