Four years ago I became a mother, and six months after that, I became an aunt to a very energetic and hilarious nephew who reminds me so much of my brother. I now also have 5 precious nieces between both sides of our families. Sadly, I’ve always lived at least 1,000 miles from all the cuties, so I don’t feel like much of an aunt. I consider it an incredible privilege and responsibility to support our siblings as they raise their kids by reinforcing the values and skills they are instilling in their families. And as auntie, you sometimes can give kids a little bit of extra insight into their parents. I mean, who else knows all the crazy stories and stunts and childhood secrets that we promised we’d never tell Mom? It’s incredible fun to see mini-siblings running around repeating history in front of your eyes!
I had a very special aunt that I loved dearly while growing up. She was my mom’s older sister and we got along so well. My mom is a middle child, so when it came to birth order personalities, my aunt and I “understood” each other as firstborns. She was an amazing seamstress and cross-stitcher. I remember several occasions when I would be frustrated with a project I was trying work on and she’d give just a snippet of advice that would spur me on. It’s not that my Mom couldn’t help me – no one taught me more than my Mom did – but my aunt now and then gave me just the umph I needed to keep listening to my Mom’s advice, or added to it just a touch to help me out.
Through adulthood, it’s been fun to get to know our aunts and uncles on a different level. The Narrator has a few aunts and uncles who feel more like older siblings to us, especially now that we are parents as well. We share the same family and the same values, and they are just a few steps ahead of us, and not so far removed from parenting kids as young as ours as to have forgotten what it’s like. Again, in our adulthood, they continue to support what are parents instilled in us.
I hope some day I’m not so incredibly far away from my nieces and nephew. But for now, I’ll treasure each moment I get to spend with them and watch them grow up and make hilarious memories with them when I can! (And maybe now and then give my brother a payback or two! shhh!)