...I was holding my oldest niece and saying goodbye before putting her in the car to send her off to Alaska. I woke up sobbing. Today my dream came true.
(I really want to wipe that little bit of food off her face!)
It has been an emotional day. My eyes are dried out and tired from tears. Saying goodbye is hard, but saying goodbye for hours is even harder in some ways. My sister and her family didn't leave until around noon, and it kind of felt like the goodbyes just got stretched out for the whole morning. It's that feeling of wanting to be with the person you have to say goodbye to, but knowing that you are only delaying the inevitable. Some part of you just wants to rip off the band-aid and get the crying done. Still, I'm thankful for every moment, every hug, and every snuggle.
I know that not every Aunt is as blessed as I have been. I've been fortunate enough to have been a huge part of their lives so far. I think there is something about not having your own children when your sibling starts having them that bonds you to them more. I've loved on them, spoiled them, disciplined them, taught them, yelled at them, laughed with them, played with them, and snuggled down next to them at night. Even though they are headed about as far away as they can get and still be in the country, I know that I will remain close to them. I'm hurting inside, but I'm excited for them as they have this big adventure. I'll just have to start planning my first trip to Alaska!