I have many titles.

To name a few, I’m a daughter, I’m a sister, I’m a friend, I’m a classmate, I’m a coworker. But my absolute favorite names come from the voice of the cutest, sassiest 2-year old I have ever met.

To my beautiful niece I am known as “LaLa”.

I love my family, but I never knew I could love someone as much as I love her. Cheesy right?

From the moment I found out my sister was pregnant, this little girl had me wrapped around her finger.

I couldn’t wait to watch her grow up. I was ready to go to all of her school concerts, take her out for a girls day, and give her all the sugar she could ask for.

When she was born it was like the world stopped. Nothing else mattered. Not the classes I had that day, not any test I had coming up, nothing. All that mattered was this beautiful, tiny little girl who had the world ahead of her.

Over the last two years this crazy girl has made my life so much brighter.

I was there for her first steps. I’ve shared movie nights, dance parties, and the occasional ice creams.

She’s only 2-years old, and she has already changed my life for the better.

I have pretty bad anxiety. My family would probably say that’s an understatement. When I’m struggling or having a rough day, I can FaceTime my niece, or go visit her, and my mood instantly changes. She motivates me to keep going, no matter how hard it gets.

Everytime I see her smiling face or hear her running down the hall screaming my name when I walk in the door, I’m reminded why I’m doing what I’m doing.

Nursing school is hard. Adulting is hard. I continue to push myself so I can set an example for her. I continue to work hard so I can be there for her when she needs me.

My niece means the absolute world to me. I’m sure most aunts and uncles would agree with me, but there’s something special about the bond between aunts and uncles and their nieces and nephews.

I can count on her to make my days 100 times brighter, and I hope as she grows up, she can count on me to do the same.

I mean, she already knows if she wants anything and her parents say “No”, Aunt LaLa is more than likely going to say “Yes.”

Laci “Aunt LaLa” Sutton is a Nickerson junior in nursing.

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