What began as, 'I want to create a special and lasting experience for my niece and nephew because I love them' has transformed. It has become, 'I am the most grateful for my niece and nephew because they exist and I love them'.
These past months have been incredible. In short, they've been:
- challenging (for every single word chosen, there were at least three that didn't make the cut),
- rewarding (working hard to produce results is addictive),
- instructive (so many self-discovered processes to optimize!),
- surprising, hilarious, miserable, empowering.
So very empowering. I spend my time imagining and dreaming, and then thinking, and then doing. I decide on a course of action and then act on it the moment (!) I want to.
I am so grateful for little Evan and Wren. They are precious and they are beautiful. I have loved them from the moment their parents shared news of their arrival. But I cannot be grateful to these two little tykes without first thanking my own parents for setting precedent and teaching me how to love, well before they came into this world.
How does a parent teach a child to love? Ooof -that's not a question this girl can answer, but I can share how my parents taught me to love. They did it by giving me my brother and sister (well technically they gave ME to my brother and sister, but I won't split hairs) and I cannot begin to thank them enough. The three of us have spent countless seconds-minutes-hours-days sitting in silence, reading together; laughing uproariously as we strapped mattresses to our bodies and threw ourselves into walls (and each other); crying together when whatever 'fun' we were up to became real, and we injured ourselves.
The time we spent together, the time they spent taking care of me, the time I spent looking up to them, the time I spent learning from them ... all of it, was time spent creating me. My brother and sister are responsible (muahaha) for who I am, today. Or at least, they certainly share a good-sized chunk of that responsibility.
What began as, 'I want to create a special experience for my niece and nephew because I love them', has transformed many times. But what it is most is this: 'I want to create an experience for the children of my brother and sister so that my nieces and nephews may know how incredible their parents have always been, still are, and will always be.'
Recognising that my sibling relationships make up the building blocks of my foundation has been helpful. Learning this has helped me understand that whatever I'm doing/working on/creating today (and for the rest of my life), should be about helping to build a strong foundation for my new+ family members. Just like my own mother, father, brother, and sister did for me.
The underlying truth to all this? To be happy and present, I need to go to sleep at night knowing that what I am spending my waking hours doing is aligned with my beliefs and wishes for the future of those I love.
One of many Calvin and Hobbes badges, unlocked? I sure hope so!
Thank you for reading.