Thursday, June 05, 2008

My Glimpses of Heaven

I have always loved kids. They are so pure and good. I was 11 going on 12 when became an aunt. That seems so long ago, but, at the same time, I can't believe she'll be 14 next month. Since then I have been blessed with 7 other nieces and nephews. They are some of my favorite people on this earth. I don't think they will ever know how much they have enriched my life and how much I love them.

Whitney - was the first. I remember how smart she was from the beginning. She was always 'blowing my mind' with things she said or comprehended at a very early age. When she was born until she was 5, we lived in Idaho while she lived here in Utah. She is the only one that called, and still calls, my mom 'Grandma-Idaho.' She is so energetic and has her dad's sense of humor - sarcastic and witty. I have many pictures where everyone is in focus except Whitney. She is a blur doing something that has her moving quicker than my camera shutter. She, being the oldest, and I have had some neat opportunities to talk and bond after her siblings went to bed when I babysat them. She is always in charge and demands the 'spotlight' when it comes to her friends and siblings.

Hailey - came into my life 4 years later. She was so much rounder than her sister as a baby and had bright orange hair which has turned into a beautiful auburn. From the beginning she has been a 'screemer' as I like to call it. I remember one time in a crowded restaurant, out of the blue, 2 year old Hailey screeched at the top of her lungs, and it seemed to quiet the entire place. She wasn't upset or anything. She stopped immediately after she got the attention she was after. To this day, her extreme vocals get results. Hailey has always been so polite and grateful too. She enjoys being by herself. She has an imagination that is out of this world and has a fantastic ability to entertain herself with whatever she has before her. She also uses it to create drawings that are very good for her age.

Brooklyn - was third. She just turned 8 and was baptized last month. She has an appropriate birthday for an accountant's daughter of April 15th. She has always been the most cuddly of the kids. She just wants to be with you and is perfectly content with sitting on your lap for hours. I remember when she was born it was like looking at baby Whitney all over again. They still look very similar. Brooklyn is very mature for her age in many ways. She a great ability to be the peacemaker and help reconcile her older sisters' arguments. She is very honest as well. She is intuitive and loving. She has always seemed to come by friends quickly and easily.

Aubrey - was the first for my second oldest brother, Rob, and his wife. She was born just 7 months after Brooklyn and has been a great friend to her cousin. Aubrey seemed to hit the ground running. She started walking so early in life - I want to say 8 months, but I'm not for sure. She didn't walk for long before she ran and climbing came so quickly after that. She has always had such an advanced physicality about her. She has a curious nature about her when it comes to her younger siblings. You can almost hear her think, 'I wonder what will happen when I do this...' It usually results in anger and/or tears from the recipient, yet I believe the intentions are rarely menacing. She's not a typical girl in that she can usually shake things off pretty easily. She is also tough and fun to get rowdy with.

Jordan - was a nice surprise just after her older sisters first birthday. They are exactly 13 months apart. Since the beginning she has had adorable curls that won't quit. She says that she got them from Emily, my brother Paul's wife. Jordan is timid and sweet, but sometimes, when you're least expecting it, she'll knock your socks off with the funniest comment or observation. Her face is so expressive when she's doing it too. Just last month she said something to her dad that I died over. Rob will have to remind me if he remembers. She is a care giver and helper. She is always helping her mom out around the house and taking care of others. They used to have a Chihuahua that was totally Jordan's. She was so good with that dog, and it went everywhere with her - even as a stow-a-way. There were many times when Rob and Sheri brought the dog with them and they had no idea because Jordi snuck her along.

AJ - was the first boy and is Bill and Julie's last child. He came in December of '02. From day one he has been a spitting image of his dad. The only big difference I see is his amber eyes to his dad's blue eyes. AJ's eyes are very pretty and unique. He has always been so affectionate too. Since he was very young he has loved kissing things - especially people's faces. Sometimes I couldn't breathe but I was so hard telling him no because he was so adorable. A couple of years ago I remember picking up one of his favorite DVD's and noticing it was filthy. The readable side was covered in something. I asked AJ what happened to his DVD and he said, "I was kissing it." I think AJ also has a world record for cognizant video game playing. He has been playing video games and knowing what he was doing since he was a year and a half old. He's really good and loves to play.

Dalan - was the second boy. He was born just 5 days before Dillon and I were married. He also looks just like his dad, but not in the same way as Bill and AJ. Dalan looks like Rob now, not when Rob was a kid. It's so funny. He is his 'Mini-Me.' He is such a little man too. I never would have thought a 2 year old could be full of testosterone, but he was and is still. He and his dad wrestle relentlessly. One time when Rob was working on landscaping his yard, Dalan stood up on the rock wall, puffed out and banged his chest and growled. Too funny. This boy's huge too. He was wearing cloths made for 4 year olds at 2. Good thing his dad is training him to like football. He does have a softer side as well. He lets he auntie see it almost every time we get together. He can be so sweet and inquisitive and just want to play or read with you.

Madison - is last but certainly not least. She is just 2 1/2 years old now. When I look at her I still have flashbacks to her sister Aubrey. They look so much alike. As Maddy gets bigger though she develops more and more things that are just hers. She has the cutest dimple - just one - on her cheek below her eye when she smiles. I don't think she ever did crawl. Before she walked, she used to navigate the room by sitting on the floor and pivoting on her feet with her hands and back on to her bottom. Then she would shuffle her feet to change the direction she was facing and do it all over again until she reached her destination. It is one of the most complex modes of getting from point A to B that I have ever seen, but she had it down. It was incredible. Madison's favorite expression is a scowl. He uncle TJ calls her 'Moody Maddy.' Even when she smiles she still has a bit of a wrinkle between her eyebrows. These days it looks more contemplative than grumpy. Maybe I have just been misreading her all this time.

So that is the gang. That's all that Bill or Rob will have so it's up to the rest of us to make more. Like I said, these children have brought more joy into my life than I think they or their parents will ever know. I love them all so much.


Razzleberry said...

That is an aborable entry! What beautiful children they are. They must have some good genetics from their Grandmother!!!!

Love, Mom

Paul + Emily said...

you are so absolutely adorable! You did such a great job on all of their descriptions! What cute neices and nephews we have!! We are so lucky! They are lucky to have such an incredible aunt like you Cerra!!!!

Cerra Hawkins said...

Mom, Julie and Sheri do have great mothers. I think they are much to modest to boast about their good genes, so I bet they are very appreciative to you for doing it for them. :-P

Em, thanks for the sweet remarks.