I never thought the day would come when I held something so fragile in my hands… something that takes so much work and love to put into. When it happened, I didn’t know if I could handle this new thing that was going to be a part of the rest of my life.
It was on July 19th, 2008, when I became known as an Aunt. I know I might be too naïve to say this at this point in my life but, I feel that that day made me a new, more open person. I had a different outlook on life. I looked at things differently and I began questioning myself. Could I really be one of the people that could help my sister raise her child? So many thoughts ran through my head. I’m only seventeen; I have no experience or idea about how to properly care for a child. Could I just start from scratch? Or in the process would I fail miserably? Just the thought of me screwing up made me frightened to learn. I didn’t know how or where to begin.
As the couple weeks of anxiety filled days blew past, I had an epiphany. I walked in my living room and saw my tiny little nephew in his swing chair. As I sat in front of him trying to entertain him with my silly faces, it hit me. The situation that made me question so much, was inevitable. Why not expose myself to learning? Even if I failed at helping him, at least I tried. Why not bring happiness and joy to someone that does the exact same thing for me? Just the smile on Eli’s face made me glow with love.
During the next few days, I found myself doing anything and everything a mother would do, without even knowing it. I feel that just me putting myself out there, even with the chance of failure at hand, that I could take care of this human being. I had grown to put all my past worries aside, and press on with the future, in hopes that this new life could be something great one day.
This has led me to believe that any woman can present mother- like qualities, if they just bring themselves forward to the table. Bringing up a child can be either a learning process or for some a natural experience. Even for those who do not mesh well with children or who are frightened, like me, to let go and try, its still a possibility that you can still exhibit some nurturing qualities. In the end of my discovery I’ve found myself to be a natural.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.