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To my friend’s kids:

I hope you know how much I love you. You’re not mine, but I love you like you are. You’re not my niece or nephew by blood, but you are by choice, and that pretty much means you’re stuck with me forever. You are my chosen sister’s baby and that means you own a piece of my heart and you always will.

I am your fan. I am watching you grow like a sold out groupie on band tour. I have loved every minute of watching the person you’re becoming. I love the way you smile and the way you laugh. I love how I see glimpses of your mama in you and glimpses of your daddy too. You are so much them, and you are so much YOU at the same time.

I am a firm believer in bonus moms. My kids have your mom, and you have me. I trust her to love my kids like her own, and she trusts me to do the same. When life gets hard or complicated, I’m always a text or call away.

(If you’re ever butting heads with your mama, I don’t want to call myself an expert…but I am an expert, and she’s an expert on me.)

I will be watching your back when you get to those hards years. You’re stuck at a party without a safe driver? I AM THERE. No judgement, no questions—THERE. You need to vent because life is hard and complicated? I WILL PROVIDE THE COFFEE. You need to raid my fridge? My fridge is your fridge and my pizza is your pizza. I will always have your back. I mean it.

You better believe I’m going to bawl my eyes out at your high school graduation. I’ll be the one by your mom who forgot to put on waterproof mascara and looks like she got in a fight with black eyeliner. Don’t even get me started on the day you get married or when you hold your own baby in your arms. You are going to do great things and I am here for it.

I’m so proud of you. No matter what you do or how old you grow I will always remember when you were fresh and tiny. I’ll always remember the day your mama told me she was pregnant. I can remember the joy so clearly I can touch it. I remember the way your mama looked at you when she held you in her arms. She looked at you like you hung the moon and she still does. I’ve changed your diapers (sorry), I’ve held you while you took a bottle, and I’ve snatched you up when you fell and scraped a knee. I am invested. I was invested then, I’m invested now, and I’m here for the long haul.

Your mom is stuck with me, and so are you.

I love you.

Love,

Aunt Jess

This article originally appeared on Wonderoak

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Jessica Johnston

Jessica Johnston is a writer and mom of four kids. She is an avid coffee drinker, risk taker, and TMI sharer. She is a firm believer in keeping it real and believes our imperfections bring us together. She writes at https://wonderoak.com/. You can follow her there, on Facebook, and on Instagram.

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