I was one of the first people my sister-in-law told about her pregnancy. Upon finding out the news, I screamed, “I’M GOING TO HAVE A NEPHEW!!!”

At the time, I had no idea whether or not the fetus was a boy, but I think my subconscious knew better than I did because less than 8 months later, I did have a nephew. I was (grudgingly) there for his birth, and the first thing I noticed about Buddy–apart from the fact that he did not cry, was the way he looked around the room as though he already knew what was going on.

From his first day on earth, I knew the kid was remarkable.

In less than 24 hours, I went from a child-loathing grump, to a doting “auntie”. Watching him grow into a kind, empathetic, and intelligent 12 year-old has added so much to my life. Buddy looks a lot like my brother, but he has his mother’s eyes as well as her temperament. Thank God!  (Just kidding, bro!)

Case in point: my brother once told me about a Tae Kwon Do bout that Buddy was in when he was younger. He was doing pretty well, but seemed to be holding back. When my brother pulled him aside and asked why, Buddy replied, “I didn’t want to hurt him.”

(That is not how my brother rolls. Baby-Doll is similar to him in this regard.)

He is such a gentle soul that every single book and toy he had from his early childhood was in pristine condition. That is until Baby-Doll came along, playing her role of the pesky little sister to the hilt by breaking and/or ripping a lot of them.

I don’t boast of my own achievements because they are so few, but I will tell anyone who will listen how phenomenal my nephew is. He is a talented musician who learned to play piano by ear. (Piano lessons? Please. Buddy taught himself to play ‘Ode To Joy’ when he was seven.) He also plays the trombone, the drums, and any other musical instrument he can get. (My nick name for him, August Rush)

He is a silver-medal winning athlete. He is one of the best hip hop dancers I have seen, and when something catches his attention, he approaches it with a unwavering focus that is unmatched.

He is also smart, funny and caring.

I am so grateful that such a brilliant young man is a member of my family. I pray that he will always be aware of how influential he is. That he will continue to be the empathetic, respectful and polite. I pray that there will be a hedge of protection around him wherever he goes. That he will grow up to be a strong man, an outstanding leader and that whatever God intended for his life will come to pass.

Most of all, I want him to know that his auntie will always be there for him. To listen; cheer him on; encourage him, and to remind him of the person he is and the legacy he has inherited. (And to occasionally kick his butt when he steps too far out of line)

Life is not necessarily about what a person can gain from the world. In the end, what a person adds to it is what will remain. I am sure that the family name is safe in the hands of Buddy. In him, the family tradition of creativity, love, activism, faith,  and music will move forward to the next generation.

I could not be prouder.

Have a great Sunday!



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