Reese Avalon.

Dear Reese,

It’s been 12 days, little one, since you made your arrival. 12 days full of laughter, tears, love, and a whole lot of lessons learned. It was my utter joy, truly, to be a part of your grand (and FAST) entrance. And because me, your momma, and your daddy live far away from Nana, Papa, and the multiple other people who have loved you for so long, I wanted to share my story about your arrival with all of them!

Not surprisingly, you appeared to have some of the habits of your mom and dad before you were even born. You were stubborn little one, crossing your legs and choosing your own timeline to unveil that you were, indeed, another baby girl for this family…and guess what? Your mom and dad? They’re pretty stubborn too. You know what else? When I (or anyone else) got to feel the little feet kicking momma’s ribs, you constantly kicked back, evidence to me that you were going to be a fighter, strong and willing to stand up for yourself, just like the daddy you have who is working so hard to achieve what he has set his mind to. And lastly, baby girl, now that you are here, you love to be snuggled, making me think very much of your momma who loves so openly and passionately.

Your momma and daddy showed up in the middle of my night shift at work, and the emotions that they were feeling, as they came to terms with the fact that so very soon you would be in their arms, were running all over their faces. I don’t know if your momma knew that I could see the nerves under her trembling smile, or if your daddy knew that he was talking a mile a minute. I don’t know if they knew that the laps they took around and around that unit did little to erase the anxiousness in their eyes. I don’t know if they knew how nervous I was, work nearly impossible as your arrival became more imminent. Most of all Reese, I hope they DID know that every nurse on the unit was watching your momma’s progress, ready to step in and help at any moment to make sure you arrived as perfectly as possible. There were so many people ready to meet you, Reese.

Once you decided to come baby girl, there was no stopping you. No surprise really, since your mom and dad rarely take no from anyone either. You momma thought she would get some rest that night, and that the following morning you would make your arrival.  But your plans were different, and only hours after momma and daddy got to the hospital, it was time to meet you. I am so grateful, little Reese, that your momma and daddy let me be a part of your grand entrance. I dropped my things and ran to your mom’s room, where I held her hand, cried on her knee, and begged God to keep you safe, healthy and whole. And you know what, little one? You were perfect. 8lbs & 1 oz, 20 inches long, 10 fingers, 10 toes, and a little cry that made me cry all the more. The sweetest little head of hair, a pouty little pair of lips, and some big, long feet! Your momma cried and cried when she met you..and I swear your Daddy was almost speechless, seemingly in awe of the reality of you! I stepped back a little after you were born, Reese, and simply watched your parents fall in love. What an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience that early morning was. I will ALWAYS treasure that memory.

So here we are baby girl. It’s been almost 2 weeks, and I can’t imagine life without you in this home I share with your parents. I come home after long nights of work excited because I get to cuddle and love on you. Your little squeaks and sneezes have become part of the soundtrack of this house, and I don’t remember what it was like to not hear them. Mostly, your arrival immediately impacted your momma and daddy, and I love watching the way YOU are continually changing THEM.

You may never see this, little one, but if you do I want you to know a couple of things. You were loved by an entire community long before October 29th, 2012. Your parents are going to make mistakes, but every choice and action they make that impacts you will have it’s roots in a sincere desire for the very best for your life. Someday, a VERY long time away, you deserve a love that makes you feel like nothing you’ve ever felt. And lastly, you are a child of the King, and He is always, always, faithful. Be bold, be confident, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t. You can, Reese, and I know you will.

I love you,

Auntie Lola

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