A lot can change in 5 years. I remember when we received the call in the early hours of a Monday morning that my sweetly stubborn niece had finally decided to show up after 41+ weeks of anxiously waiting. I’ll never forget the timing because I had had 4 days off prior to her arrival and she chose to arrive when that time had run out. She has been doing her own thing ever since. I had waited years to become an aunt and when the time finally came it was more than I had imagined. Within minutes, she was was wrapping her hands around my fingers with a sense of ease as if all the hours I had spent with my sister during her pregnancy had created this undeniable bond. From that moment forward literally and figuratively I have been wrapped around many little fingers. So, since this morning officially marks the 5 year anniversary of my “Auntiehood” here are the 5 things I learn since becoming an “Auntie”.
There is a way to love all the little ones in the same unmeasurable amount. Before my niece was born, I had become incredible attached to her. I had always wanted to be an aunt and when the time finally came, it was everything I dreamed of and more. When more and more little ones came after, I wondered to myself if I would know how to divide that love evenly. Although there isn’t some perfect math equation, I’d imagine parents find themselves in the same predicament. Somehow you heart learns to love in different ways and tailored to each of these little people. It is possible to love them equally, in different ways and in incredible amounts.
There is nothing quite like their love. As the children have gotten older it has now become their choice as to who gets and how they should their own affection and attention. There is nothing quite like walking into a room, hearing you name and then having someone so little run towards your embrace. These days there is always someone who wants to sit on my lap, wants a book read to them or even have me tuck them into bed at night. There are endless amounts and snuggles and kisses and hugs! My heart just melts when they tell me they love me and my heart can barely handle when they finally learn how to say my name. My nephew learned how to say Auntie/ Aunta this week and you can bet I have it recorded!
Always take a video. If you want any shot at getting a picture of them all smiling at the same time- you’d better take a video of them and get familiar with photoshop. It’s been years at this point since I learn this trick but in order to get them to cooperate, the odds of capturing it on video are far more likely than snapping countless photos. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve taken pictures of them and the second the phone is put down is when the right moment happens. In order to avoid the mess and stress, videos allow me to get tons of “moments” and allows me to pick the perfect one from a video still. Plus, the kids LOVE watching videos of themselves and they are also nice to look back on. None of these pictures would be possible if my cousin and best friend Jackie didn’t catch them on video. Such a good life hack!
I am a parent in training. If and when I am blessed to have a child of my own, I can absolutely say I was as prepared as possible. Although there is no need for a resume when becoming a parent (though there should be standard qualifications) my credentials and personal references are more valid than what currently appears on my LinkedIn profile. It might look and read a little like this: Performs quality daily routine activities (not limited to: morning routines, bath time routines while tailoring the activity to each individual child’s needs, bedtime routines and meal time activities) can sooth to a sound sleep in under 5 minutes (while singing “you are my sunshine”) attends all major events for all children – hockey practices, dance classes and school plays, and lastly, can enforce the rules and regulations of upper management. It’s so important to love and guide these babies like their own parents would. I am still working on the patience of a parent thing and luckily I have a lot of time to do so.
Auntie life is the best life. Real talk: i am obsessed with being an aunt. So much so that I’ve often been teased for the amount of time I talk about the kids and they’re not even “mine”. I often confuse others with the way I talk about them as if they are my own children. The truth may be that they aren’t actually mine but in so many ways they are. I aim to spend as much time as possible with each of them and I make it my mission to love them in their love language. You might be thinking about that and yes! It is possible to use these languages with children too. I know that some of the kids need my undivided attention and quality time where as others prefer being shown love through gifts. It is also true that you do not need to give birth (or have a hand in the process) in order to love these children like I do. When loving a child, you truly get what you give. If you give them your attention, your affection and snacks- all jokes aside, these little people will stick to you like glue. Having my family live within miles of each other has made growing up as a fixture in their lives very easy. It does take effort with the ones who are further away but it is an effort worth making when you realize you are building a life long relationship.
It’s the simple moments in life that have the most impact especially with my littlest people. Learning about myself and loving my nieces and nephews has brought so much more into my life that I can hardly imagine what life looked like before them or even fathom life without them. I can only hope to one day love a few little ones of my own but, until then, I will take all the snuggles and bedtime stories I can get.
Wishing my first baby a very happy 5th birthday with many more to look forward to.
See you soon!