My friend Kelly (affectionately known to our boys as Auntie) and I have known one another since our Freshman year in high school. There are those family you inherit from DNA or marry into and those that God sends your way…Kelly is a part of our ‘chosen’ family. Kelly has always been a consistent and caring force in mine, and my boys lives. She has been through every trying period in my life and every milestone. She has shared in my joys, lifted my spirit in the difficult times and always…always reminded me of the gifts God has blessed me with. She doesn’t allow me to be hard on myself in her presence…Instead, she adds a boost of self confidence with her words as effortlessly as adding cream in my coffee. How does she do it?
She is a woman of many talents and according to Nishad, she’s now added a few to that list. He *loves* playing with his Auntie Kelly. She showered him with such attention while visiting. She read to him endlessly (one of Nishad’s favorite past times is books). They played puppets. He even preferred to sit next to her when we ate out, and let her help him in the bathroom. He had this little spider finger action movement when he wanted her to hold his hand. When Kelly went to the bathroom at the zoo, he asked, “Where is Auntie Kelly?” I replied, “The bathroom.” He replied, “Will she be back?” I said, “Yes, Nishad.” And, even with her out of site, as though he was sending her some sort of sub-conscious signal, he reached out his hand in the direction that she walked away and sent out a little spider finger message her way.
While pregnant with Nishad, Kelly actually drove back to Minnesota with me after my baby shower to help me prepare for the baby. She took time off in her life, to give time to us… After Nishad was born, she and her Mom (Gammy Dee) were first to say they were visiting. Does Nishad sense how special she is to us, or does he sense how much she cares for us? Maybe neither- maybe he just senses what a good person she is, and what a big heart she has.
I know that I have such an added respect for Kelly- especially, after this visit. There is another layer of love that was added in my heart… There is something so amazing about watching one of your dearest and closest friends play with your children, value what their innocent perspective is and love them so concretely. Ashish and I don’t have many people in our lives that are in our children’s lives. I suppose that’s why it is quality over quantity.
As it was time to get ready for nap, I told Nishad to go to his room. We moved out his twin bed in his brother’s room and put a queen size bed in his room for Kelly to sleep on. He sat up on the bed and looked at me and said, “Where’s Kelly going to sleep?” He was really proud to share his African Savannah room with her. I said, “Kelly had to go to her home now…”