Whenever I go through certain situations, good or bad, in life, I am reminded of who is there for me. The answer is always FAMILY. Don’t get me wrong – I have the most amazing friends a girl could ask for. Friends who will be there in the drop of a hat, friends who text and call to check in or just say hi, friends who are shoulders to cry on, smiles to laugh with, and hearts to celebrate with. But there’s just something about family that provides an irreplaceable bond and everlasting love.
Who are the key members of my family, my roots that keep me grounded:
My mom, William’s Yaya.
My mom is an incredible woman, everyone would agree. She’s selfless, caring, wise, and always there. It’s no wonder William asks for Yaya 5,000 times a day upon waking up every morning and before bed each night. “Yaya?” he says. “Yaya says, ‘Good morning!'” I tell him. “Or, ‘Yaya says it’s time to go night night. All the little boys and girls are going to sleep now,'” just as she would say to him. Yaya reads William books while he sits at the big boy table to eat. She gets him to eat more than I ever can. We both smile and our hearts are full every time we’re with her. All kids who know Yaya, whether they’re family or not, call her Yaya.
Oh Stephanie. You can’t choose your family, but if I could I’d definitely choose you as my sister! Stephanie has been my constant cheerleader, my best friend, my stylist, William’s second mom, my photographer, and I could go on and on. There’s truly no bond like sisterhood and she’s definitely the best.
My dad, William’s Pops.
Smartest man I know. Pops knows everything and can do anything. He’s always right, never wrong (this is where I get it from!). He’s been playing his guitar for William since the beginning, and William has learned a love of music from him. I hope William grows up to be just like Pops!
My grandma, Mama, William’s great grandmother.
I’ve always had a special bond with Mama. She was the first person I told I was pregnant. She can keep secrets better than anyone I know. Grandparents and great grandparents allow children to do things that normally would not be ok. Putting William on the pool table is one of them. Mama taught William how to roll balls on the pool table (as opposed to throw them as he does with every other object) among many other things. When we go over to their house, getting on the pool table is the first thing William wants to do. As you can see from his priceless reaction, it clearly makes him very, very happy.
My grandpa, Papa, William’s great grandfather.
William got his first pool lesson from Papa last week. Papa has taught all his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren about pool and many, many other sports. While Mama lets William sit on the pool table, Papa has him stand on the bench he built over 30 years ago for small little ones to be able to reach. He shows William how to put two hands on the pool stick, aim, and hit the balls. Everyone is continually impressed with William’s athletic ability and, undoubtedly, it comes from Papa.
Family is everything.
Just some of my mom’s side of the family. Family get togethers are so special, and even more so as we get older and bring our own children.
My grandpa, Poppy, William’s great grandfather.
Poppy just celebrated his 87th birthday! He’s the youngest and best looking 87 year old, eh? I am proud to have William named after Poppy and carry on the “Williams” name. As evidenced by the bottom photo, Poppy with his three sons, he’s instilled a love of family into his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. I know my siblings will have this same strong bond when we reach my dad and his brothers’ ages.
Audrey, my niece.
Audrey is William’s youngest mother. He is “her baby.” She taught him pretend play and how to use his imagination. In this photo, they were pretending to go to sleep. Jacob wanted in on this photo, and she snapped, “No! William is MY baby!” “You go up and I’ll go down,” she told William when posing for the picture. She wants William all to herself and is the kindest and most gentle with him that I’ve ever seen her. She’s four going on 14, so this is kind of a big deal.
Me & William
William has taught me so many lessons during his 21 months of being here. He’s taught me unconditional love and has brought me more joy and happiness than I ever knew possible. He’s taught me to slow down and cherish every moment in life. There’s nothing more important than love and everything else can wait.
Pure happiness. My little man. My everything.
Some days around here can be challenging, I’m not going to lie. But William reminds me that everything happens for a reason. I need that reminder and I need to believe that. It will all work out exactly how it’s supposed to. Regardless how it ends, my family is / has / will always be there. Thank you, family.
Who is there for you?