Birthday #18

This morning I woke up with a heavy heart. Today, you turn 18. I am not sure how that is even possible, as I still remember you as a tiny, little angel who loved to cuddle and smile. You were my first. My first of many things. I have learned from you how to be a better aunt, mom and friend. It is because of you that I have learned to love unconditionally with my own kids. Thank you!

As I look back on the years spent with you, I see many images. The happy little girl who kept running into pillows as we would purposely throw them at you and roll on the floor laughing because you kept coming back for more. Watching you play soccer, volleyball and badminton, learning teamwork skills and independence. Babysitting you from the time you were a week old when your mom had to use the bathroom so bad that she woke me up from a deep sleep, scaring the crap out of me and then telling her to sleep while I fed you and put you back to sleep. Now babysitting requires me to call you in advance and schedule a date – and pay you some sort of currency because you had to deal with my little rug rats. Reading you stories when I was home from college – even from my text books because you never cared what I read to you. Vacations to Disney and Michigan, where you grew up before my very eyes. All these memories, jam packed into 18 years, that seem like it has only been 9.

The next few months for you will be a whirlwind as you go to Senior Prom, graduate and move on to the next chapter in your life, COLLEGE! Keep your honest ways. Set yourself up to lead others. Know you are loved and your family will always be there – through the good and bad. On this 18th birthday, celebrate the amazing young woman you are and all that is to come for you! I love you Paityn Jayne!

In honor of family tradition – Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Paityn! Happy Birthday to you! We’ll sing a song for you! And hope all your dreams come true! Cuz it isn’t everyday you have a birthday! So Happy Birthday to you!


Only a week old and you had my heart!


My sweet angel heading to Homecoming!


4 thoughts on “Birthday #18

  1. I knew this post was coming. I saw your mom yesterday and she said her oldest grandchild was going to be 18 today. 🙂 I know you have written about her previously and I was waiting to see what this post would bring. Your writing makes it so apparent just how proud of her you are and also how much respect she has earned. Your post is so selfless – focusing on how she has helped you learn. Your last paragraph has my emotions in an uproar…so positive, so encouraging, so inspiring! Great job Kel! She is lucky to have you as an aunt!

  2. This is so sweet. I, too, have many special nieces. The difference? Mine are all now approaching their fiftieth birthday. Time does fly. Keep making those great memories and writing about them.

  3. That bond. Auntie to niece. It’s a special one. Your words show much of your feelings for her and she sounds like an amazing young lady.

  4. What a touching tribute to your sweet niece. Your love for her comes pouring out through your words. Paityn is a lucky girl to have you in her life. Thank you for sharing a little bit of her with us!

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