Guest Post: On being an auntie

This post comes from my long-time blogger friend, Debbie of Writing Soup. She's only a few weeks older than me, but already basically a pro at the auntie thing, as you'll see, so she obliged me (soon-to-be first-time aunt that I am) with this brief introduction to the joys of aunting. <3 Takk fyrir, Debbie.

I became an Aunt when I was nine. Since then my sisters (we've tended to marry pretty young in my family) have produced a new niece or nephew roughly every year. Sometimes there are multiple cute babies in one year, other times we'll go a couple without any. Right now I have five nieces, four nephews, and one little gender-unkown fetus. I dearly love being an aunt. Each time a new baby is born into the family it's just as exciting as the first, with a new little life and personality joining our ever expanding family.

Let's face it, one of the best parts of being an Aunt or an Uncle is the spoiling/bragging that comes with it. You can love that little person as much as you want, but when it comes to diapers or discipline, you can just hand them off to their parents. That's not to say you should never help out with that stuff, but the pressure to Be A Good Parent is significantly less. Particularly because you're not a parent. Bragging is also a big perk of being an Aunt. I know for a fact that my nieces and nephews are the cutest on the planet. Sorry to everyone else, that's just the way it is. You'd never find 9.5 cuter little munchkins anywhere. We've got some good genes in our family.

What I think I love the most, though, is getting the chance to be a part of the lives of these kids. I love to watch them play together, and see the ways their lives are unfolding. It reminds me of my own interactions with my siblings and cousins. Children are so imaginative, and in ways that adults would never think of. For example, when my husband and I moved out of our old place, my sister and brother-in-law came to help. Their two kids would have been totally bored except I had a box of legos and a box of beanie babies. My niece took the beanie babies, my nephew the legos, and they played together for several hours while we moved boxes around and cleaned up my apartment. I loved that they each took their interests and made a fun pretend game that kept them happy in what would have normally been a boring situation.

I love to share my own interests with my nieces and nephews as well. I always want to be a cool aunt, so it's super fun to play with them, talk about books together (it helps that I adore children's books) and all around have a fun time. It helps me experience those things for the first time again, like when I took my oldest niece to go see my favorite author, Shannon Hale. My niece was shy and excited, much like I was the first time I met Shannon. It was a special experience for both of us, and I'm excited to share other stories with her and her cousins.

Being an Aunt is great. Little nieces and nephews are full of fun, imagination, chaos, and noise. They're wonderful, crazy, sometimes a pain, oftentimes sweet. I may not get to see them as much as I want to, but that makes their visits and funny quirks all the more fun.


Debbie Barr 7/15/2010 5:13 PM  

Thanks for letting me do this post! It was fun!

Holly 7/15/2010 8:35 PM  

Debbie - And don't forget, IOU.

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