A Reluctant Aunt

My sister-in-law gave birth to her first baby on Saturday. I tried, really tried, to not go see the baby. I didn’t want to fall in love with the squishy little parts or the soft little coos. Instead, I wanted to play the part of the dissappointed, hurt sister-in-law that I had been acting like since I found out my sister-in-law was pregnant. My 16 year old sister-in-law. When I found out she was pregnant, I took it personally. Because of our age difference, she was more like a daughter to me. How could she do this? She knew better! A baby was having a baby and I was devistated.
I don’t get to see my sister-in-law that often because of our busy schedules but I also avoided situations where I knew I might run into her. I was afraid of what I might say to her if I saw her. When my husband told me Saturday morning that the baby had been born, I just ignored him. He had been extremely upset when he had found out his sister was pregnant and he had let her know how upset he was as well. But that was it. Now, he was upset with me.
“Look, what’s done is done. A new baby is in the world and she’s going to need our love and support. Imagine being 16 with a new baby. Do you realize how scary it must be?”, he asked me, exasperated. “This didn’t happen to you. This happened to your niece. Get over it“.
Wow. He was right and it took hearing that to realize just how selfish I had been. She made a mistake. Who am I to judge her? What could either my niece or myself benefit by my behaving the way I have been? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. My sister-in-law had no idea how I had been feeling since I had been keeping my distance. She didn’t need to know, either. All she needs to know is that I’m going to give both her and the baby all the love and support I can. So, I grabbed my car keys and my camera and I went to the hospital to see my brand new niece. I wasn’t going to fight falling in love any longer.
This aunt is reluctant no more.

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