Baby Rafa, you are my first blood nephew. I will have the privilege of watching grow from birth.
And babe, I am so excited to be on this adventure with you.
You are a wonder. Your eyes dart about with awe and it is clear you are already taking in so much of this new world you find yourself on. You frown and listen with intent, waiting to hear the familiar voice of your Mumma, or Daddy, or beautiful big sister. You nestle into the neck of those who cuddle you. Your newborn smell intoxicates those who are near. Your freshness brings the world to a standstill.
We have so much to learn from you.
Darling, I am here to tell you, and your cousins, that as the big people in your life,
we might not always get it right.
We don’t have all the answers all the time, but we will do our best to guide you.
We are but mere humans, and we too are still learning. Sometimes we might say or do things, to you or to each other, that seem silly to a newbie like you, but our souls are on their own journey, with their own lessons to be learnt, and we have all been put together to grow.
You are so loved sweetheart. Your Mumma and Daddy had a few tough moments before you chose them. But here you are. Light shining and ready to teach. And we learn not from your wisdom, but from your trust, from your kindness and from your patience.
Your name means ‘God has healed’, and since I believe that “God” resides in us all, that we are all “God”, your name means that you are a healer. And that you are. Don’t be afraid of that status, my love. Your ancestors will show you the way. They surround you. As do we.
Your sister and your cousins are so excited to have you, (even if Maisey didn't really want to go near you...). They beam with pride when they mention your name. I pray that you will always watch out for one another. That you will light the dark paths for one another and always be a shoulder, in the good and the bad.
Because there will be bad.
And we will hold your hand and wipe your tears during those moments of pain and unfairness.
But there will also be breathtaking good.
And we hope to see the happiness in you that makes you glow. The kind of happiness that comes from an ice-cream on the beach, or kicking the football in spring, or running in the park with your dogs. Your cousins radiate that happiness. I pray they always will.
Baby Rafa, thank you for coming into our lives. Your Mumma and Daddy look so wonderfully in love and relaxed with you by their side. You chose well babe. They will love you with such bravery. I look at you mumma now, my baby sister, and I melt with pride. The moment I first laid eyes on you broke me. I have never felt that kind of pride before, and I immediately felt the sisterly bond grow. I promise I am trying to not be TOO involved. But as a lover of your family and you, I just want to dive in and assist where I can.
I am an Aunty.
Now I know how Grandparents feel…
So as I finish off this essay, and my red wine, I kiss you from a distance dear boy. I am never far away, and I am always here to listen, to hold and to love. I will meet your words without judgement, your fears with a sword, and your body with open arms and a forehead kiss.
We love you baby Rafa.
May we do your proud.
Aunty Shell x