At the young age of ten, I became an Auntie for the very first time. Obviously because of my young age, I was the only person in my friend group who was going to be an aunt in the near future and I was beyond excited. I have always loved babies and young kids and couldn’t wait to have another baby in the family. Since I am the youngest child, having a new baby around was going to give me the opportunity to have the (close enough) little brother or sister I never had. Little did I know was that this little baby was going to make one of the biggest impact on my life. Not everyone gets to become an aunt and definitely a smaller part of those become an aunt at such a young age.
I always tended to be a bit of a brat when it came to getting what I wanted and I wanted to have a niece. Now imagine my reaction when my brother informed me that I was going to have a nephew. Exactly, not entirely thrilled, in fact, I almost kicked my mother in the face because I was so upset. This was probably one of my first lessons in becoming an aunt, you get what you get (and you don’t get upset).
My second lesson in Auntie-ing, as I call it, was sharing. Being the youngest child, I never really had to deal with sharing my possessions and my toys. I never actually noticed how bad at sharing I was until my nephew hit the age when he knew how to share with me. It was embarrassing at the least when my four year old nephew told everyone that his auntie didn’t share with him, ever. Of course, he asked for it when he dropped my Ipod Touch and shattered the screen.
Back to today, over the course of the past nine years, a lot has changed. First off, not only do I have one nephew, but I have five. I tend to joke around that it’s all because I kicked my mother in the face and Karma is out to get me. Nonetheless, despite not having a niece, I have learned the most valuable lesson from having nephews. You’ll love them just the same. It never really mattered what the gender was. No matter what, you’ll hold that baby for the first time and instantly fall in love. How could you not? Seeing them there completely dependent and trusting on you to hold them and keep them safe? There is no better feeling than knowing that this baby is going to grow up someday and hopefully look up to everything that you do.
In that moment, you realize just how important it is for you to be a great role model for this little baby. It took me a little while before realizing that my nephew was watching everything I did and learning from it. But when I did finally come to this realization, everything changed. It was then, as a freshman in high school, I started to strive to leave a path for my nephews to follow in my footsteps. I tried my absolute hardest to get good grades. I realized that my hardest wasn’t always going to be enough. I came to learn how to face really difficult situations and overcome some honestly terrible high school drama.
The first three years of high school were by far the worst years of my life. But they made me stronger as a person. In my last year of high school, I decided to make a huge change by facing the obstacles I had pushed to the side. I got more involved. I joined a new group after school. I made new friends, who didn’t start drama. I put forth every ounce I had to end my high school career on a positive note and learn from the negatives.
And my nephews were by my side through everything.
They were there to make me smile, even if they didn’t know it at the time.
They were there to push me to be a better person.
They were there to motivate me to do my best.
They were there to make me do silly things just to see their cute smiles.
They were there to give me comforting hugs.
They were there to be my prom dates when I didn’t have one.
They were there to see my walk across the stage and receive my diploma.
And yes, I was looking for them first in the audience.
When you first think of becoming an Auntie, you think about how you are going to have to be there for your niece or nephew throughout everything. How you are going to be their biggest supporter. How you are going to encourage them to always do their best and be the best person they can be. How you are going to teach them new things.
When I think of becoming an Auntie, I think about just how much my nephews have actually given me. They were my biggest motivation through everything I attempted. They were some of my biggest supporters. They taught me so much more than I could ever teach them. And not to mention, they have never stopped loving me.
Today, nine years later, I have to come realize just how much of a blessing becoming an auntie at a young age was for me. My nephews changed everything about me and made me into the wonderful person I am today. In fact, they are the reason I want to become a teacher. I could not thank them enough for all the motivation they have given me. From that moment on, I have tried my best, no matter how far away I may be, to be there to support my nephews in anything they do.
Their first steps.
First hair cuts.
Their first baseball games.
First day of school.
Every second, every minute, every hour,
every day, every month, every year.
For the rest of my life.
Because they aren’t going to stay little forever and they surely do grow up way too fast.
And I wouldn’t want to miss a single thing.
Once you realize how much you take away from receiving the name “Auntie”, everything will change. It truly is the biggest blessing.