I’m not sure when it happened but there is no doubt that it has, my beautiful niece Brooklyn is no longer my baby girl. She is bravely venturing into the land of worrying about how your hair looks, having intelligent conversations, thinking about things that really matter, dealing with worries about who will be your friend and what people think about you, having boyfriends (gasp). She has always been smart, really a brilliant child, but she was still naive to the ways of the world, she still had her rose colored glasses on but the rose color is fading some and she sees things for how they are more and more rather than how they should be.
I am both proud and saddened, but I know this has to happen so I just enjoy the moments of us all piling into the same bed to sleep,and her wrapping her arms around my waist squeezing tightly saying “I love you aunt avery, I’m going to miss you” and the fact that she still wants me to tell her my made up stories about fairies and monsters. Because I know one day there will be no more sleepovers and no more making up songs and dancing for the video camera. I will cry, I will be sad, I’m not going to lie… but I will also be proud and honored to have been such a big part of her childhood and then I will carefully navigate my way into where I fit into her adulthood. All I can say is she had better make room for me because I don’t care how big she gets, I will always love her with every piece of me and I will always be her aunt avery.