It’s Black Friday and I’m here visiting Birmingham since I spent Thanksgiving with Mercedes and her mother. Today, I spent about an hour with my sister and my niece. A little over 2 years old now, the youngster certainly has me wrapped around her fingers. I gave her a $1 bill today and she was so excited. I love her smile and the way she calls me “Uncle AnJuan”. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: my first moment with Kennedi.
How I first came across this moment? My niece, Kennedi, was born in August 2013. I was settling into my new job at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and in my apartment down in Opelika not to mention trying to navigate through a relationship that eventually failed in the back end of 2013. I came up for Christmas but it was a quick turnaround…enough to stop through to make rounds. My sister wasn’t home at the time so I didn’t get a chance to meet my new niece then. It wasn’t until February 2014 that I met her for the first time. I drove up I-65 from one of my buildings in Montgomery and stopped through. It was then that I was introduced to Kennedi and held her for the first time.
What it meant to me then? Holding her for the first time was a special moment. I remember her grasping my index finger with her hand and her getting all comfortable in my elbow crease. It was an amazing feeling holding her. I’ve held infants before and I’ve even held infants of which I have very close relationships with, such as my goddaughters, but this was different. This felt as close to me having my own kid without having my own kid.
What it means to me now? Today, the moment still means a lot to me. Although she’s far older than the 6 months she was at the time and our interactions are more in depth, nothing has topped that first moment. It’ll be with me for a long, long time. When she’s older and I show her the picture of it, I hope to get her to understand the magnitude of the moment.