Later today I'll slip into a cute dress I recently bought and make the drive into Houston. I'll walk into that crowded stadium and make my way to a section filled with my family. And when they call my teenage nephew's name, I'm sure I'll be screaming my head off, while fighting back buckets of tears. He turned 18 last week, which was difficult on it's own, for him to be graduating this week is just totally overwhelming.
I was 15 when my brother placed a tiny bundle into my arms. As I stared at his sweet face, I fell deeply, hopelessly in love. A love that amazes me still, all these years later. Being an aunt is my favorite thing and his birth gave me that title. He'll always be special. How I wish I could pause time and just soak it all up. Or maybe even go back in time, to the kid he was. Hug him more, take him to the toy store and let him pick anything out. Stuff him with candy and ice cream and pizza. Chase him around a park again. Apologize for anytime I scolded him, or said no to him, or didn't follow through with something I promised. I want a do over with my nephew!
I'm proud of him, insanely so. Nothing will change that and I'm excited to see where life takes him. I'm excited to watch him soar and make his place in the world. It's just bittersweet. And I'm sappy.
But, seeing how it's Friday, I thought he'd be the only thing on my gratitude list this week.
A, I am so grateful to be even a small part of the village that raised you. You are fantastic and I adore you. I'll always be here to cheer you on, without fail.