December 15, 2013 – Normally I drive you home from Wootton but on this day, I hand you the keys and you chauffeur me for the first time. You blow through the red light and then slam on the brakes in the middle of the Fallsmead Way intersection. I’m still laughing hours later.
August 28, 2011 – After years and years of looking forward to this moment, you come to Wootton High School as a freshmen. Passing you in the halls, gossiping about your classmates and working on English essays together all become regular activities. Being the aunt of a student at the high school where I teach is infinitely better than being the parent: all of the fun and none of the stress.
June 12, 2010 – Your bat mitzvah service is held on my porch. It’s the most beautiful, meaningful ceremony and I’m so proud of you. And you look so lovely as you leave childhood behind and begin to become a young lady.
March 23, 2004 – Ira and I move in five houses away from you. I stop working that summer and for the next few years, I’m at your house almost every day, first with my daughter (your cousin) Leah, and then with my second, Josie, when she’s born the following spring.
April 3, 2003 – Your mom asks me to see if I notice that you keep flipping your hair out of your face. Many doctors later, we find out you have Tourette’s Syndrome. My heart hurts for what might be ahead, but you handle TS always with maturity and grace and dignity. You use pepper to explain to your third grade class that a tic can’t be ignored any more than a sneeze can. You raise thousands of dollars for research. You become a camp counselor for other kids with TS and other neurologic conditions. You inspire me every day.
December 8, 2001 – I hold you up, as close as we can be, while your new baby brother Jack has his bris. Your mom is crying in the kitchen but we are both fascinated by this ancient ritual. You aren’t scared one little bit.
June 17, 2000 – You stand beside me as my flower girl at my wedding as I officially become your aunt. Earlier in the day your mother reminded you to behave and you yelled, “I. AM. BEING. GOOD.” You sure were.
June 7, 1997 – When I held you for the first time at Holy Cross Hospital, I said a little prayer that I would get to be your aunt and be in your life. I wasn’t engaged yet to your uncle Ira and I wasn’t sure what the future held, but I knew at that moment that I would love you forever, Sydney Starr Moskowitz.