Let's rewind 9 months. I was at summer camp, getting ready to get on the bus to come home. One of the camp directors shouted, "Anna! There's a letter here for you! It looks like someone shipped it overnight!" The letter was from my brother. I opened it and read that it said...Alyssa was pregnant! I was going to be an AUNT! I was 11 years old when I got that news. I remember crying a few happy tears and telling everyone I knew that my brother's wife was having a baby! I have always been an emotional basket case since day one -- exhibit A.
The day of Emma's birth, it was a warm March day. Much, much different than this snowy day we have today...what the heck?! I remember wearing a short sleeve blue shirt and a brand new khaki skirt. Alyssa was being induced...so the plan was...when it was time, my Dad would pick me up from Glenwood and bring me to the hospital. I swear, everyone at the Middle School that day knew I was about to be an Aunt. I told the world. Sure enough..my Dad walked into the gym and said it was time to go! I screamed and jumped up and down with Emily and made my way to the hospital!
At 3:00, they came out into the waiting room and announced IT'S A GIRL! I had a NIECE! It was the most special moment. I went into the room and met this beautiful baby, holding her in my arms, having no idea that it was the first day of this amazing chapter of my life...the chapter of being Aunt Anna to my 6 perfect angels and best friends. Someone took a Polaroid picture of that moment, and I can't find it. I would give anything to relocate that.
The next day, Emily decorated my locker with all kinds of signs and streamers and balloons! It was SO cute! Emma was the talk of the town and the biggest hit. She has been an incredible blessing in my life everyday since that day. The little sister that I never really got to have, my best friend, so many special things. She holds a place in my heart that no one could ever really understand.
Emma is smart, compassionate, talented, caring, kind, curious, adventurous, mature, and beautiful. Today is her 8th birthday, and she is now the age that I was when her parents (my brother and sister-in-law) started dating! WOW! Although that makes her sound so big, yesterday we took her to New York for her first time, and as I watched her face light up in the toy stores and in American Girl Place, this beautiful light of innocence was just shining through her smile. She is still so little, and I'm not ready for her to grow up. I'm so proud of the young woman she is growing into, and I enjoy every single moment I spend with this girl...sushi dates, golf cart rides, visits at school...anything and everything.
Yesterday we were walking on the street, and she just looked up at me and said, "I love you." She does this all the time, and every time, it never fails to hit this soft spot in my heart! To feel so loved by this tiny person who thinks you are so cool and feels so safe with you and so excited to spend time with you brought a whole new meaning to "true love" for me. It makes me feel important. Being Aunt Anna to these sweet little people is the best thing in my life thus far.
Happy Birthday, Emma. Thank you for showing me what love really is and just for being you. I could never in a million years have thought that this perfect little girl would come into my life and change it forever the way you have. You are so, so special.