Thursday, October 06, 2011

Little Girl No More

I plan on writing a post about my recent vacation to Disneyland with Jonah and also one about one of my favorite "guilty-pleasure" movies, but today I'd like to take a moment to talk about a wedding I'm in town for.

I have a cherished photo of me holding my brand newly born niece. I am wearing a Phantom of the Opera t-shirt that I got on a trip to New York a year or so before (which I still own, by the way). I have a big smile on my face and I'm looking into the camera. In my arms is my tiny niece. The quality of the actual photo is not that great. It's slightly blurry and the flash washes us out. Yet it is one of my very favorite pictures. There is such joy and excitement on my face, and I'm holding this tiny little person, the first child one of my siblings had; the first grandchild for my mom and dad.

I remember having that photo taken. We were at the University of Utah Medical Center, and my brother and sister-in-law, especially, looked exhausted. I had gone with my mom and dad, I believe, and possibly my other sister to visit them and see my newborn niece for the first time. I'm pretty sure my mom took the actual photo. I look so young in the photo because, well, I am. My niece is just a tiny baby.

Tomorrow morning that same niece will be getting married in the Salt Lake Temple to the love of her life and moving into my mom's house into my old bedroom. It's hard to believe so much time has passed.

I do not truly understand what it is to be a parent and I will probably not get that opportunity in this life, but when I look at this photo and see where my niece is now, I feel the aches and joys I imagine a parent must feel when they see their baby growing up becoming an adult with adult responsibilities. I feel so happy for my niece, who has turned out to be a wonderful person, and I am grateful she has found an equally wonderful guy to share her life with, but my, kids do grow up so fast, and a very, very small part of me mourns the fact that she is not a child anymore; that those years are forever gone, never to come back.

When I think of the time I miss with Jonah due to my career, I realize I will never get that time back, and it makes me want to work harder to find a way to be with him more often. These past few weeks I have been with him have been so great. He drives me crazy, and I'm sure I drive him crazy, but I love him so incredibly much and am so grateful for what he brings to my life. I hope my niece will be as happy with her new husband as I am with mine.

Obviously, I will not be able to attend the actual ceremony. I'm okay with it. I actually find most temple weddings to be somewhat impersonal anyway. I wasn't able to attend my own brother's (the bride's father's) wedding, either (because I was not yet endowed), so those are the breaks, I suppose.

My niece invited Jonah and me to be in the wedding photos after the ceremony. I so wish Jonah could have come, but he's already taken off too much work. I will miss having him here with me.

Well, the wedding is in just 9 1/2 hours. I'd better get some sleep.

1 comment:

Miguel said...

Great tribute to your niece. That's exactly how I feel when I see the little kids I held and knew graduating, marrying and having kids of their own. My selfish comment is: "dang I'm getting old" but deep down I'm beaming with pride for them.