How in the world are you ONE today?! Just 21 months ago, your momma called me randomly to ask if she could come over. When I offered to feed her dinner as well and she said no, but was still driving past her house out of her way to “just stop by,” I knew it meant one of two things. Either she was showing me an engagement ring or a positive pregnancy test. When she walked in the front door, I immediately looked at her left hand and saw no ring. She walked to the back bedroom with me and told me she needed to tell me something. I asked if she was pregnant. She was shocked I guessed it so quickly. She expected me to freak out, cry, be nervous for her, and give her my typical what were you thinking talk. I did none of that. You see, Charlie, I was secretly excited! I was excited to have another baby in the family and I was excited to finally become an aunt. Of course, we had real conversations about how her life was going to change, how her priorities needed to change, and how much you were going to cost her. She was scared because you were unplanned, but certainly not unwanted. You were the best surprise we’ve ever gotten.
Watching you make your grand entrance into the world forever changed me. I already had birthed your two cousins, but witnessing my little sister find the strength it takes to birth a baby was more empowering than I imagined it would be. Seeing her hold you on her chest for the first time brought streams of tears to my eyes. For me, it was love at first sight. I took the whole next day off work just to sit in the hospital room with you, your momma, and daddy; to feed you all, snuggle you all, and help however I could help.
Watching you grow this last year has been just as exciting as it was watching my own kids grow that first year. Seeing you grow from a tiny baby who didn’t want to latch properly to a big piggy boy who loves nursing; from a squirmy, curled up newborn to a rolly polly crawling, standing one year old; and from a happy newborn to an even happier one-year-old, you never cease to amaze me. You love your Aunt Chelle so much. You love your cousins and Uncle Chad, too. You spend your time with them laughing at them and they couldn’t love you more.
Watching your mom turn morph into her new role made me burst with pride. She was so strong during the tough times. She persevered when things got tough. And, most importantly, she loved you every single day a little more than the day before. She began to form her own parenting style and she turned into a mentor for all her friends who had babies shortly after you were born. I couldn’t be more proud of her.
Charlie, my promise to you as you continue to grow older is to always be here for you like my Aunt Glenna was always there for me. I promise to support you in your extracurriculars, be a listening ear when it seems like no one wants to listen, and give you honest advice when you ask. I promise to spoil you and to never stop giving you kisses (just get used to it). I promise to keep your secrets safe and knock sense into ya when you need it. I promise to love you like my own forever and ever.
My wish for you is that you become exactly who you want to be. I hope that all your dreams come true. I hope that you realize how lucky you are to have the family you have. I hope you are confident and that you never lose your handsome smile and your easy, laidback personality. Most importantly, I hope you always love me as much as I love you. I am so darn lucky God chose ME to be YOUR Aunt Chelle.
Happy Birthday, buddy!
Aunt Chelle 💕
Until next time…
“Every birthday counts…especially the first.”