Increasingly when I’m experiencing a bit of a low point, I’ve come to appreciate individuals in my life a lot more, and the way in which they impact my life for the better. I don’t know whether that’s a side effect of growing up and spending a large proportion of the year living away from home. But the new found gratitude is there all the same.
Today I wanted to share with you all why this gorgeous bear, my niece, Bryony, brings me so much joy. Aside from her chubby cheeks and monkey ears that make me positively coo (and simultaneously melt!!), the satisfaction I feel making her giggle and smile is a kind of beautiful I am not quite sure how to put into words. Equally, watching her develop and conquer new steps is just as incredible. I remember thinking when I first met her how amazing it is that, whilst we create war and suffering and heartache, we can also make these beautiful bundles of innocence (and total adorableness!!!). I’m aware that sounds a little on the cheesy side, but when you really think about it (not too much, that’s gross) it’s insane.
Bryony makes me so happy; she brings so much light to my life that she’ll never realise. When I was growing up, I was never really bothered by the latest cousin like my other siblings. I was afraid of holding them. And once the newborn was thrust upon me, I looked around with a lost expression, not sure what holding this thing was meant to achieve. But with the arrival of my nephew in 2009, and my niece this January, something in me was unearthed. I guess the beginnings of a maternal instinct? I’m not sure if that niggling feeling was maternal instinct, or if you ever really get it until you have your own children — not to the same extent, I’m sure. But the unconditional adoration was there all the same, with the promise of wanting to watch every step she took in life.
I guess what I’m trying to say (in the most long winded way possible) is that my love and appreciation for Bryony and my nephew Jack comes from the hope they bring me. Because, whilst — yes — sometimes I feel incredibly lonely and unlucky in love; whilst sometimes life gives me all its got at once and I start to feel a little defeated, I know that I have all this to come. Not only do I have the welcoming thought of coming home and being an auntie to these little cherubs, I also have the prospect of one day having my own family. And yeah, the idea of a boyfriend can seem practically foreign to me at times, but I’m determined to one day have that connection with someone, and have my own mini Alice’s running around and messing up the place. Jack and Bryony are a reminder not to be scared of the future and to set goals, and to believe that those goals are obtainable no matter how discouraged I might get. They are hope.