Friday, April 26, 2013

Thoughts On Becoming an Aunt

Happy One Week Birthday, Baby Hazel!!

One week ago today, I was waiting for the arrival of my beautiful niece.  It recently came to my attention that while I wrote about the waiting part, I never updated anyone on the arrival part. Just in case you were worried, my sister has not been in labor for the past 7 days.  She did, indeed, have her sweet baby girl!  

My niece was actually born about 30 minutes after I published my post about waiting.  I think it was her way of saying "This is the first of many, many times I will prove you wrong.  Go ahead and write about waiting, but I'm actually on my way here right now.  Just remember, I'm the one calling the shots here, Aunt Carrie."

I know I'm only a week into this whole aunt gig, but so far, it's pretty awesome.  Some of my "new aunt thoughts" thus far...
  1. For every time I've had to say "no" to my own children, I will get to say "yes" a bazillion times over to my niece.
  2. I will have a little girl to spoil ridiculously with all kinds of tiny outfits and barrettes and shoes and dresses and socks and tights and...
  3. I can give her as many cookies as she wants at family Christmas before I get busted by her parents.
  4. I get to hold and cuddle and rock a tiny little bundle of joy, but I also get to sleep at night.  (This may not actually be as true in real life as it is in theory.  My almost 3-year-old is having night terrors nearly every night, so there is not much sleep happening at our house right now.  But, I am not waking up to feed a baby, so there's that...)
  5. I get to teach my niece lots of new things.  This makes me especially excited when I think back to all the things my sister has taught her niece and nephew.  My children now refer to "barking spiders" every time any type of wind escapes their little buns.  They also point out every single possible combination of blue and maize they can find, even to the extent that my son refused to eat two orange and brown M & M's I gave him because they were "not Michigan colors, Mom!"  Oh, how I cannot wait to teach my niece new things, too!
  6. I can defer to her parents when she fills her diaper, spits up everywhere or needs to eat.
  7. For the first time in 5 years, there will be a little one that I can play with and laugh with and dance with all I want, but don't have to be accountable for handling any crying, whining, arguing or disobeying.  (Don't worry, Katie, I'm sure she won't do any of those things.  Ever.  Purely hypothetical...)
I'm actually considering having a t-shirt created that says:

"Aunt:  All of the fun, none of the responsibility!" 

Let me know what size and color you would like yours printed in.

In all honesty, though, I am over-the-moon excited to walk alongside my sister in this grand adventure of parenting.  I am eager to support and help and be there for her, my brother-in-law and niece every step of the way.  I am excited for her to experience all that Motherhood has to offer.  She may have moments and experiences that intersect with mine; but I know her journey will also be full of moments and experiences that are entirely hers.  I am lucky that I will get to learn from her for years and years to come.

Throughout my sister's pregnancy,  I had a lot of "aunt" thoughts.  I thought about meeting my niece for the very first time.  I thought about holding her, snuggled in my arms.  I thought I had this whole "aunt" thing pretty well figured out.  I had already been down the Mom road and had two children of my much different could this "aunt" thing really be?

But come time find out, there was also a lot that I didn't think about until that moment when life changed for our entire family at 2:05pm last Friday. 

I didn't think it was possible to be so proud of my little sister.

I didn't think it would be so so hard to say goodbye when it came time to leave and head back home, 3 hours away.

I didn't think I could be so much in love with someone else's baby.

I didn't think seeing my niece in an outfit my daughter wore when she was only days old would transport me back in time so quickly. 

I didn't think I would love talking about all things baby and mom-related with my sister, especially the "no one else will tell you this or discuss this with you unless you are sisters" stuff.

I didn't think about the gift it would be to watch my own parents be grandparents all over again.

I didn't think about how I would feel even closer with my sister when she stepped into the role of "mom" herself.  

I didn't think becoming an aunt would change my heart, my life, in the ways it already has.

You Are a Good Mom, even when you're not "the" mom.  Loving every single moment of being an aunt!  

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  1. "I didn't think I could be so much in love with someone else's baby." Yes, yes, and yes. I have experienced this three times over with my own sister. It's hard to wrap my brain around, but so true!

    1. An aunt times three...that is so awesome!! :) And cousins for Henry. So great!


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