04 Lovely Love

January 19, 2024

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in this human experience, it’s that family goes beyond blood or sharing the same last name. In our family, there are souls we love with all our being: our nieces and nephews.

Undoubtedly, love is a feeling that requires work; it needs to be cultivated. Still, there are bursts of love that simply arise with a glance, and that’s how it has been connecting with our nieces and nephews. It’s worth noting that when we talk about nieces and nephews, we mean the children of our cousins (also known as second cousins), our younger cousins, and the children of our closest friends.

As mentioned before, witnessing the birth and growth of a niece or nephew is one of the greatest gifts we’ll take from this life. Obviously, these are cycles that change over time. You melt with tenderness for them when they are babies or very little. You do things you never imagined, like changing their diaper and not understanding how such a tiny human can produce such potent smells. Or not getting angry when they vomit spaghetti with tomato on your white duvet, or when, out of excitement, they vomit on your hands, and you never thought you’d be capable of not vomiting too with something so gross, haha.

But enduring these “situations” is not the best part; you never imagine feeling so proud when they invite you to their homes to play, and they call you every five minutes to ask if you’re coming because they eagerly await you. Or that, with much pride, they invite you to their school festival to watch them perform and be the star at the back of the stage, but when they see you, they smile because they know you’re there. Feeling their hugs, receiving their drawings, dancing with them, sharing their “secrets,” asking for advice, paying close attention to everything you teach them because they want to be the best nieces and nephews, picking up their toys when they don’t do it at home, making their mom surprised at how tidy they are with you, and knowing that they do it because they want you to invite them again. Hearing them say you’re the prettiest or the smartest aunt, hearing them say that when they grow up, they want to be like you and leave you little notes to remember them… That’s how our nieces and nephews are.

I remember when I watched the Pixar movie “Inside Out.” There’s a part where Riley (the protagonist) goes through adolescence, and many memories are erased from her memory; everything is in conflict, and the first thing I thought was that my nieces and nephews were going to forget everything we’ve experienced with them, and that terrified me. I didn’t want adolescence to come, and they’d forget us. And guess what? That moment has already come for some of them. This is where our hearts suffer the first pang because we are no longer the favourite people. They don’t respond as quickly when we send them a message; obviously, they have other plans. However, it’s very beautiful to see how not all memories have disappeared, and they still tell us that they love to see and talk to us with a lot of love. We have even played tickle fights again when we can see each other.

Today, the big challenge we face is distance. It’s not as easy to nurture our love. We have nieces and nephews we haven’t met yet, whom we haven’t hugged, which hurts a lot. We have nieces and nephews we’ve only seen once, but it was enough to connect and know how much we love them. But it’s difficult for them, being so little, to feel our love from a distance. It’s true that “Out of sight, out of mind.”

We don’t know how much time will pass before we meet our nieces and nephews again, hug them, and hear about their adventures. Today, we can only stay in touch through WhatsApp with some of them or through video calls when schedules align. We have been fortunate because some of them have been able to visit us, and it’s beautiful to have them with us.

Today, more than ever, we don’t want our nieces and nephews to forget us, and we hope this blog serves to help them know about us and, above all, never forget how much we love them. They will always be our favourite humans, and we will be waiting for them; we will be there when they need us, even from a distance; we will know how to make ourselves present and give them cuddles.

Thank you for reading us, and thanks to our nieces and nephews for existing in our lives!

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