My first niece was born five years ago in October, 2007. I wasn’t there in the delivery room, but I may or may not have snuck onto a NYC Amtrak to get to the Philly hospital in time to meet her minutes after she was born.
That day, I knew how much I loved this little person and how much I loved my sister and how much I loved this new title of mine: aunt.
An aunt is a parent once removed. An aunt gets the fun without the fuss. I get to be my sister’s right hand woman. I can noodge her kids if she thinks they need noodging, but I can also laugh with and love her kids whenever I want (even if what they need is a noodge).
Incidentally, my own aunt is a poster child for aunt supreme. Individual trips when we were young: ahem, NYC. Madonna bracelets, splatter paint and neon nail polish. She bought each one with an exuberance and enthusiasm that never faltered despite the growing [ridiculous] snake of rubber bracelets creeping up my arm. She’s been there for the life events: lacrosse games, plays, graduations, weddings, birthdays… But she’s also been there for the life: adolescent moods, first loves, career changes, break ups… That’s a lot of turf.
I am now an aunt to two nieces, one nephew and- as of Tuesday at 1:06 in the afternoon- another niece!
So far my aunting duties have required little more than weekend visits, the occasional craft project, and Skyping whenever possible. They’re still young enough that my relationship with my sister drives the bus, so talking with her every day keeps me relevant in their eyes. But soon that will change and I get to start building my own relationship with each of them.
What will my ‘thing’ be with each of them? Arts and crafts? Karaoke? The Twilight Trilogy? My lack of fashion sense? Time will tell!
If I can’t get enough of them now, how will I ever let them out of my sight when they’re older!