Six years ago today, I was waiting. Waiting rather impatiently, actually. Twelve hours in an uncomfortable hospital chair waiting for her to arrive. The room was crammed with our family, and some friends waiting on the arrival of my first niece. My sister was a trooper, and as we would soon find, her first baby girl was a stubborn one, waiting until the last possible second before a c-section to make her grand entrance to the world. All nine pounds, four ounces of her.
I knew that I would love her, of course, but as soon as I laid eyes on her, I knew that it would be so much more than that. I would lay down my life for this tiny little soul who blessed our family as the first grandchild, first niece, and number one kiddo.
I had been aunting kids of my friends for years, but this really was a whole new ball game. She was MY niece. Though now I have another niece that I adore, Madison will always hold a special place in my heart.
Six years later and I can’t believe how much she has grown! She is spunky, sassy, and extremely kind. She has the biggest heart of anyone I think I have ever met. She mourns for those we have lost with an understanding far past that of a six year old. She also mourns for those we lost before she even made it out of diapers, even though she has no memory of them herself. When my sister-in-law lost her father unexpectedly last week, Maddy offered to send her the pink flowers she got from her dance recital. If you know her, this is a huge deal because the pink ones are her favorite.
I love the person she is growing up to be. She has attitude for days, and never fails to make me laugh hysterically at something she said. She loves to scrapbook with me, and is by far my favorite photography subject. She also loves to work with me and the other kids that I shoot, as she has all the right moves and can help the little kids (and sometimes the big ones) feel comfortable in front of the camera.
I am so proud to be her aunt. She calls me Nee, and we have no idea why. Around 18 months, she started saying that every time she saw me and the name stuck. I practice a sport called “Competitive Aunting” which means that I do whatever I can to stay ahead of the pack. I am VERY good at my sport. When I asked her what she wanted to do with me for her birthday, she said she wanted to have “pasta” (aka Beef Stroganoff) at my house, another indoor picnic, and a drive in movie (I make her a “car” out of a laundry basket so that she can enjoy the movie in style). She also requested lots of time with me, since she misses me so much. I see her about once a week, but she never fails to give me a running-jumping-ninja-style attack hug. Melts my heart every time.
Happy Birthday, Madison Elise!! You will always be my number one Punkasaurus! Nee loves you all the way to the moon and back.