The Aunt My Baby Will Never Know


I recently reconnected with a high school pal on Facebook. Not unusual for most of us. But what's interesting about this particular connection is that she's now a new mama, too.

Her daughter is 4 months old -- mine is 7 months old. If circumstances were different -- if we lived closer, if we had stayed closer -- her daughter and Kavi might grow up as friends.

That got me thinking about the people in my life who Kavi will never know.


Like one specific childhood friend, a woman I'd known since I was 6 and she was 3. A woman I once considered my sister. It wasn't circumstance or mere distance that separated us. It was a very specific pattern of behavior on her part. She turned into a different person -- someone I didn't really recognize or care to associate with. And it was painful, but shortly after my wedding nearly five years ago, we cut ties for good.

But that doesn't mean that I don't miss her. That doesn't mean I don't crave the closeness that came with that kind of sisterhood, that level of friendship that simply becomes family. And sometimes, I mourn the loss of her -- of who she was when I really knew her -- not just for myself but also for my daughter.

I wonder sometimes, in the day and age of Facebook and Twitter and all this other social networking, if she knows my little one exists. I sometimes wonder if she cares, if she realizes the bond she might have had with this child if things were different.

There was a day when my former friend would have played such an important role in my daughter's life. She would have been her Masi, no different in emotional connection than my real sister. Thinking about the fact that Kavi and my friend will never know each other is jarring, like we've ended up in some alternate universe. And it makes me sad. But that's the way life is sometimes.

This much I know is true -- when she's old enough, Kavi will still hear all the fun stories about her would-have-been aunt. Those memories are still precious to me, still such a part of who I am, I couldn't not share them with her. And I hope, one day, she too will get to have that deeper level of friendship, the one that goes all the way to family.

Have you had people in your life you wish your little one could know?

Image via AndreaKW/Flickr

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