My Aunt Mary and I are 17 years apart. To most people, that is a pretty significant difference in age. To me, that number means nothing. From as far back as I can remember, my Aunt has always been in my life and I have been in hers. She was at my dance recitals, my hockey games, volleyball tournaments, she helped me pick out my homecoming dresses, and she is always there when I just need to get away from the craziness that is the Hoffmann family. I was at her college graduation, her wedding, all of her birthdays and most importantly, the birth of her son and daughter, my cousins.
I was so excited when I got the call from my Aunt telling me she was pregnant. I was so anxious to have another cousin. I had to wait nine whole months though and I remember thinking how long that was, but not a day went by where I didn’t think of that little baby. I called her on a weekly basis to find out everything about her pregnancy. I would ask her what she was craving, if her feet hurt, if she decided on a name, etc. I also visited as much as I could. I would bring a little gift for the not yet arrived baby and I would help my Uncle Jeff with the nursery. As the due date grew nearer and nearer I was over more often because I was determined not to miss a single second of her labor process.
Faith was born on January 23, 2008. I was 13 years old. It is funny to me because I can remember the day so clearly even though it was over four years ago. Faith’s due date was January 25 so naturally I was on edge the whole week. I remember running out to my Moms car and asking if she heard any news about my Aunt. She told me that she was admitted to the hospital and the baby was going to be born before the day was done. We rushed to the hospital and we were just in time. I remember seeing Faith the first time. She was screaming and crying and flailing around. The doctors immediately took her to weigh her and get her measurements. Then I got to hold her. This little thing that I had waited nine months to see and she was in my arms. It was crazy to me. She was so delicate and tiny. In that moment everything seemed so perfect.
Since before Faith was born, I started a journal of things that I think she would like to know about her family and life in general. I document in it about twice a month. I know that she will not be able to read it, let alone understand the significance for years to come, but I think she will be able to appreciate it when she is older. I put things in there that I have learned and I explain the mistakes I have made in hopes that she will not make the same ones. I have not yet decided when I will present her with the journal. I haven’t told anyone about it because I don’t want anyone to see it except for her and I.
Faith has a crazy amount of energy and she is so loving and trusting to everyone she encounters. I can only wish that she stays this innocent. I hope that Faith and I can share the same bond that my Aunt and I share. In a way we already do. Faith has taught me a lot about what is important. Sometimes we don’t need to worry about the things that are not going to matter in a few years. What we need to do is focus on today, look at what we have and be thankful for the amazing relationships that we will develop with our family over the course of our lives.