Health

Why I love being an aunt

I’m in love. Just hopelessly in love with a guy I think about as I fall asleep at night. (In fact, the other night I was thinking about him so much that I had trouble drifting off.)

Baby feet

I’m in love. Just hopelessly in love with a guy I think about as I fall asleep at night. (In fact, the other night I was thinking about him so much that I had trouble drifting off.) But to clarify, who I’m thinking about isn’t necessarily the man sleeping next to me at night. Nope, it’s a new man in my life — my baby-fresh nephew, born on Monday.

Now, I’m no rookie aunt — I’ve got some 16 nieces and nephews on my husband’s side of the family, and I am even — gulp — a great aunt to two sweet little girls. While I love motherhood, I love the more relaxed, easygoing approach that aunthood offers. I get to spoil my nieces and nephews and goof around with them by intentionally guessing their ages wrong. I don’t have to be the disciplinarian I have to be at home and tell them that’s enough chocolate, or could they turn that TV off please.

And then, with some of my older nieces and nephews, I get to talk quietly about what’s going on in their lives. How’s school? What’s the new job like? You’re not still going out with that guy are you? As a mom to two still-smallish kids, sometimes it can be a challenge to pull myself away from motherhood and make time to be an aunt. When I do get a chance to do it, though, I get a little twitch of happiness about being able to catch up with this little person related to me.

Then this week it was my little sister having her very first baby, an event our family has waited nine long months for. And a mere three hours after he was born, my children and I were literally running to the hospital to make googly eyes at this delicate newborn cousin of theirs. His nose. His little eyes barely taking in who we are. His little feet, which start to turn colour when they’re not covered by a blanket. His little hat which sits gnome-like on his head. He is all just so perfect. And his perfection has got me bouncing around this week squealing to anyone who will listen to me: I’m an aunt again! I’m an aunt again!

I’m not sure what’s making me happiest about him right now: is it that my sister had a healthy pregnancy and her son arrived, equally healthy? Is it that I have a baby in my life again, one I get to kiss and snuggle and play with, but don’t have to take care of at night for two-hour feedings? Is it that my kids will have a cousin in the same city they live in to see regularly — something I never had? (Aside from my parents, sister and one aunt, the rest of my family lives in the Netherlands).

It’s likely all of these things. Whatever it is, this little guy’s arrival has me floating this week — so why question it?

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