My mom raised me to be strong. She raised me to be an individual, leaning into my own person as I grew up around a slew of cousins and siblings. I’m sure if someone asked how she did this, she would say something like “I have no clue.” Yeah, my mama is that person. Nonchalant and short winded. And although she has 11 siblings of her own, she didn’t get a chance to know her own mother. So she did the best she could with the cards she was dealt. And in my opinion, she did a damn good job. My brother and sisters are very headstrong people. We make our own decisions and we depend on no one to handle our business. We are resilient, persevering, kind hearted people – just like our mama.
One of my life’s dream has always been to be a role model to the younger generations. My nieces, cousins, and nephews alike. I’ve always wanted to be a person they could be proud of. Not for accolades or recognition, but simply for them to see better and want better.
As the baby of the house, my siblings were all at least 10 years older than me. Can you imagine the impressions made very early on? I watched my siblings have children, get married, graduate from various programs, all before the age of 12. My brother and sisters lived their lives and I was front & center at their movie premieres called life. So when it came time for me to make decisions of my own like going to college and moving out of Kansas, I looked around me and decided I wanted something different. Not to say my family isn’t successful or unhappy. But I know I wanted to provide a different opportunity for the younger generation. I always wanted to live in a different state so that my nieces and nephews could visit me and see something new. I wanted to provide them with experiences their parents could or couldn’t provide. As long as they would get to live life fully, I would be happy.
These past few summers I’ve had the chance at housing my eldest sisters kids in Houston. And each time they come, they say they enjoyed their stay. Even though I was big & pregnant for 2 of those summers, the time spent with them is priceless. I did exactly what I dreamt of doing my whole life. They can come visit me in Texas whenever they want. They can confidently leave their nests and go to college out of state because they watched me do so. They can be more than me because I offer a glimpse into a different setting than what they’re used to. I talk to them and push them to be better & make better decisions. I was fortunate enough to have their parents push me when I decided to try something new. Now it’s my turn to push them alongside their parents. Only this time around, they have a live and in person experience to base those decisions on. I’m proud to be their aunt. I’m proud to see my babies grow up and be adults. I pray they learn from my experiences as well as their parents.
Be wise my babies. Be different. Be brave. Know no limits. Reach past the stars. Be everything you can’t even imagine. I got you. Your parents got you.
GOD HAS YOU.