I find it kind of funny being an aunt. I never decided to be one. There was no application process, that I recall. But now I have one nephew and five nieces. I also have what I consider to be a potentially important role to play. I want to do it right.
With my nephew, I'm not sure that I can offer much. I was not a little boy and I am trying my best to figure out what to do with my son. Perhaps I can pass on some of the knowledge I acquire there to my nephew. I will give it a shot.
To my nieces, I hope that I can make a positive difference, big or small, in their lives. I hope that I can encourage them to develop and enjoy developing all their wonderfully unique talents and abilities. When I learn that one of them likes to write (among many other things she does really well) and I give her a writing pad, it's a vote of confidence in her potential. When another one likes to draw, I give her a blank paper pad and hope that she will filll it with her beautiful imaginings. When one needs furniture for a certain room in her dollhouse, I set out to find that furniture. I want these girls to know that I see them, hear them, and believe in them so much.
Some of them have started to admire female singers. I will show my interest, because of their interest, but I hope that maybe I can steer them away from wanting to copy or be that actress or singer. I want each of the girls to be herself, always. That's wonderful enough. I hope they know that. Yes, Taylor Swift is amazing; so are you. And we need you just as you are.
I have learned not to pretend that I am their age or one of them. I was tempted to do a gymnastics manoeuver last summer for two of them until I realized that might ruin the visit quickly. Trips to emergency rooms tend to do that. In staying true to my age and role, while also having fun with the girls, I can give them a view of what it's like to be a grown-up girl. I think that's useful.
All of my nieces have wonderful mothers, as do I. I am not trying to step on anybody's toes. But it's nice, I think, for girls to have a variety of women in their lives and always nice when these women show interest and belief in them.
I didn't have aunts to whom I was close when I was growing up. I was gifted for a short time with someone who filled a similar role. I wish that time had been longer.
I will try to be a good aunt and I love that some of the girls consider me a "cool aunt." I am very glad that I stumbled into this role, however it happened. I hope that I make a difference.