My mom has 6 sisters + 5 sisters-in-law + my dad’s 1 sister = 12 aunts. I’ve mentioned the above-average women in my life, but the originals are my aunts and Grandma. (In case you’re curious, I also have 18 uncles and 36 first cousins).
My niece and nephew have three aunts. That means I carry the responsibility of four aunts. OK maybe it doesn’t actually mean that, but I think the job of an aunt is to fill in where the mom can’t. I remember threatening to run away from home once and my mom told me I was allowed to run away to my aunt’s house. An aunt loves her niece or nephew unconditionally and always has her or his best interests in mind – even when you have your own children.
My aunts taught me all sorts of things and inspired me in many ways. Auntie Barb and Aunt Peg are the crafty types. They made us doll clothes and other toys better than anything you could find in a store. Aunt Vicky has dessert recipes worth stealing (or emailing and asking for them!). I was Aunt Cathy’s mini-me for Take Your Daughter to Work Day. It was fun to spend a day in a downtown office. That was something my aunt could do with me that my mom couldn’t. Auntie Barb lived in San Diego and had a pool. Aunt Suzie lived in France. I got to visit each of them. Aunt Sharon taught us how to organize events and be good hostesses. Aunt Theresa blended her two kids with her husband’s three daughters – a process I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. Aunt Peg is my local aunt. She’s the one who took me in when I needed a break in college. She gave me a place to spend Easters and Thanksgivings. She also deserves a shout-out for the time I was too sick to be in the dorms sophomore year. She cared for her niece with an ear infection.
My aunts each have their own life experiences and have different stories to share.
I can’t have homes in Paris and California. I can’t make my niece all her toys. I hope I never have to blend a family together, but I certainly will teach my niece and nephew anything I can, and they can visit me in Seattle anytime they want. I can listen to their “something really important to tell yous” (most recently: “There’s a new movie called “Cars 2!”).
And, of course, aunts don’t have to be related. Mine are, but kids can use support and love from anyone willing to give it. The more the merrier.
Do you have aunties who adore you? Do you have a niece and/or nephew you can’t get enough of? Do you hate the way aunts are portrayed in fairy tales like I do? Tell us!
I’m a journalist, content strategist, doting auntie, amateur bobsledder, fitness enthusiast, and wannabe health nut (who loves chocolate and pizza too much to fully commit). I don't want you to think my life is perfect. It's not.