It’s official. Today, my nephew turned 13 … which officially makes him a teenager. Yikes!

Seriously, I can’t believe it’s been that many years since I changed his first poopy diaper. And when I mean his first poopy diaper, I do mean that meconium stool that all babies should pass within the first 12 hours. Oh … and did I mention that those are the thick, tarry stools that are very difficult to clean up?! I do believe that I earn bonus “Auntie Em” points for doing that. 🙂

He was 2 yrs old on this trip to Disney

He was 2 yrs old on this trip to Disney

Really though, I couldn’t have been happier to do it that day. He was such a stubborn baby, refusing to turn in his Mom’s belly, that she had to deliver him by c-section. Yeah … I’m sure cleaning that first yucky stool was what she needed to worry about at that moment.

In any case, my nephew has been the light of my Hubby’s & my life for the past 13 years. He holds a special place in our hearts for many reasons. First, because he was born the same year that Hubby & me were married … which makes remembering how many years we’ve been married much easier. That and the fact that there were two new “lives” (my nephew and the joint lives between Hubby & I) that were born that same year … my nephew is just a constant reminder of landmark point in our lives.

Another reason Hubby & I are especially close to our nephew is because there was a spell of time that he and his Mom came to live with us. He was about 18 months at that time and we all lived together for just under a year. I have very fond memories of those times, like celebrating Christmas with him. Or going shopping with his Mom and telling us oh-so-sweetly, “I neeeed to go hoooommmeee!” And there was also the time we found a pebble up his nose! But those moments with him, the time he spent living with us … it’s those reasons (and probably so much more) that we have developed a special bond with him.

So now here’s where I get to show off exactly how special we are to our nephew. By Christmas this past year, the whole family knew that Hubby & I would be moving out of Detroit. So imagine my surprise when Hubby & I opened our gifts and found this:

Tyler Collage
Yes, it’s a collage that our nephew made for us to bring with us to our new home. So that we won’t forget him.

But the thing is, we could never forget him. He has become part of our lives in ways that he, himself, probably doesn’t understand. And it’s for that reason that I just about bawled when I opened and read that gift.

This is what he wrote on the collage

This is what he wrote on the collage

In any case, he’s now 13 years old and taller than me. He’s now starting to shave and his voice is ever-so-slightly changing. And while this past weekend while at home to celebrate his birthday (his dad has him this weekend), he refused to leave our side … I know that those moments of showing unabashed love and affection to us will get less and less as he grows older.

And when that moment comes … the moment when he becomes that “man” who would rather shake his Uncle’s hand and lightly hug his Auntie Em … I will look back at these moments and remember exactly how special we are to him, even though he might not physically show it all the time.