I found out today that my baby sister is having a boy in June. I am beyond elated. I want to take this time to welcome him to the family, and give him some, hopefully, helpful advice to acclimate to his new environment.

First of all, you are a much-needed spot of happiness. After these past few years, with all of the sickness and death that we have had to deal with, there is nothing that makes us happier than anticipating your arrival. . We are excited and filled with joy. We are already more thankful for you than you will ever know.

Take it from your aunt and cut your mommy and daddy some slack. They are learning and will do the very best that they can. Every single thing that they do for you, right or wrong, will be out of love. They are the happiest I have ever seen them now and have no idea that there is an even happier state of being that comes only when you first cast your eyes on your new-born baby.

Listen to your Mimi. She is very wise. And, like Ann Reddy said, “it’s wisdom born of pain”. Believe it or not, that is the most powerful kind of wisdom. She has lived through a lot (to say the least) and is still positive. Honestly, she is the truest example of someone who loves unconditionally. You are so blessed to be getting her as a grandmother.

And, listen, Papa can be a little grumpy but, I’ll tell you what. He will go to the ends of the earth for you. Honestly. There is nothing he won’t do. He is generous and will always keep you up to date with the latest gadgets and gizmos and will give you some money when he hits the numbers! He’s fun and honest and has the strongest sense of what he feels is right and wrong than anyone I know. He’ll tell you things like “Next time come when you can’t stay so long” but, you’ll know he loves you and you’ll love him right back. And, when his guard comes down and he becomes emotional, it will mean more to you than anything in the world.

I will be here for you, no matter what, as will Uncle Al. And, being we are raising two boys, we will try to talk sense into your parents when we think you may need a little help from their good intentions! You can learn a lot from us. We have been together for twenty-two years and have been to hell and back and are still standing. We are an example of what love and forgiveness is. We are always a work in progress but, we appreciate each other and our family. I will be your sensible Aunt. If you need help, or advice, or a shoulder to cry on, I will be here for you.  I promise to always listen and never judge and to be honest with you. I will always love you. Al will be a rock in your life. He will do anything you ask him to. If he says he will do it, he will. And, gladly.

And, finally, your Aunt Chrissy and Uncle Jay. You will never find a truer or more generous person than your Aunt Chrissy. She will do anything in the world for you. My children never would have gotten through the past few years without her. She is an angel and a rock to almost everyone who knows her. And, she is crazy! She will roll on the floor with you, play Smurfs, tickle you, pillow fight you, take you anywhere you want to go. She is love, incarnate. You are beyond lucky to be getting her as an aunt. And, Uncle Jay is just as fun. He will fix your toys and talk to you and let you sleep at his house and have his bed while he sleeps on the couch. He will tease you and hug you and kiss you and love you.

You are a lucky kid. Sure, you will hear some arguing, you will hear some curse words. When we are all together, you will have to scream in order to be heard. You will probably be teased by your older cousins. That’s just the way of the world. You may even have to deal with some heavy issues at a younger age than you should have to. But, you will never be sorry that you were born into this family. You will never wish for another one. We are crazy, unconventional, probably dysfunctional but, we love each other like crazy. We stand by each other, good times or bad.

So, welcome, nephew. Can’t wait to meet you.