Sunday, July 28, 2013

Being an Aunt

I love being an aunt.  I think it is the most terrific job in the world.  I imagine it is a bit like being a grandparent, you can have fun, love the little ones and then they go home all while you are still looking pretty good to them.

I am fortunate enough to have a niece and two nephews that now all have children.  Being a great aunt is also pretty amazing.  My niece was down here in Florida this week visiting and boy did we have fun.  She visits about once a year, she wants to see her grandparents before something happens to them.  She also wants a relaxing trip where she can have fun and not worry about anything. 

I am pretty fortunate to have a pool, and lots and lots of toys at my house due to my work.  There is always something to do here that is fun, well that is if you are little.

We played Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head, we swam, we colored, we went looking for alligator's (none to be found on this trip), we went to the beach and played in 3-4 foot waves.  They went to Busch Garden's our local amusement park and had a blast on all the rides.  We watched the Disney channel, the Rays beat the Red Sox and the Yankee's, and we ate lots of yummy food.

The best thing about being and aunt is watching your niece and nephew's become amazing parents.  When they are little you are so excited they are born, they grow up and you play with them through each stage of their development.  Then they start to grow up and grow away from you.  They get involved in high school, then college, and then they start dating and eventually get married.  You meet spouses, and love seeing them in love and ready for adulthood.  Then they become parents and you celebrate with them, sometimes from far away, but you cheer them on all through each stage of their lives.  I am so proud of them, the adults they have become and the parents they have become.

You see I have one sister who does not choose to share her family with me or my family, my sister, my niece and nephew's or our extended family.  It is her loss, that is for sure, but it is also a loss for me as an aunt.  I have written about this before so I won't go into a lot of detail here, it's just after a visit where I get to have fun and be a part of these precious children's lives, it hits home again.  You see I think I am a pretty good aunt, it is always nice to know there is an adult out there that loves you just for being you.  Not your mom or dad, or even your grandparents, another adult that has your back and thinks you are super fantastic.  I miss this with the other five nieces and nephews that are no longer a part of my life.

And yes I know life is too short to hang onto family issues.  I, like my sister Claudia, have tried and tried to repair that which my other sister sees as wrong.  There is no repairing.  There is just this little hole in my heart that sometimes pokes through, and that hole is where those five nieces and nephew's are supposed to be.

I will keep that space for them.  I will send them love from afar and positive thoughts for a tremendous life.  And for now I will enjoy being and aunt to the precious ones I have to love.

Like I said before, I love being an aunt.


Joy said...

A beautiful straight from the heart post Meredith, and i understand perfectly where you're coming from regarding family issues for I have one myself with my eldest son, and it's heart-breaking! But, as you say, we must keep on keeping on and hope and pray for the best in life for them!
Lovely happy pics of your great-niece and nephew - I bet they love you to bits!
Joy xo

Sharron said...

A very candid post Meredith, I admire your honesty. Those pictures paint a thousand words x

kathyinozarks said...

big hugs to you

Karen said...

I'll bet your nieces and nephews think they hit the jackpot with you for an aunt. How fun your visit must've been! It' so hard when there are rifts in families. We have to just keep open hearts, as you are doing, and just hope that time will heal.

Petunia Pill said...

I need an Aunt. I only had one...she lived miles away and she has now passed away. I miss her. I could come to your house and find many fun things to do with you! Even if I'm not little! I would play in the ocean, swim in your pool, hound the heck outta Max and then hound the HECK outta you to crochet with me! See! We could have fun. Aunty Mer...sounds good rolling off my tongue. =) Love, A.

Bridget said...

Sigh. Well, you can only do so much, but maybe someday it will change.

In the meantime, I'm glad you have the chance to see your niece and her family.

I also enjoy being an aunt and a great-aunt. Pretty easy to be popular, I must say!

Have a good week, Meredith!

Gerda said...

Oh, a wonderful post from the heart. I think you must be a fantastic aunt. It can give such a joy to see children grow up, children with whom you are connected. I have 3 brothers and one sister, I haven't seen my eldest brother for over 15 years. My youngest has no image of him. it sure is a hole in the heart. Family is imortant. thanks for your post, groetjes, Gerda

by Teresa said...

Meredith.. Dayle and I both are amazed that anyone would keep you apart from their family - you are the BEST person, very loving to your family and friends. I actually feel sorry for your *other* sister and her kids as they are losing out on being a part of your life. I can only hope she will see the error of her ways, or that her children will seek you out someday when they are on their own. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Teresa said...

Beautiful post! Some day hopefully things will turn around.
It looks like you had a blast while you had company were there! Kids can be so much fun. I am sure that they will have fond memories of these times you spend with them as they grow up. I am so glad that they wanted to see your parents before something happens to them.
That sand looks really different. More grey. Finally getting rain here. Hugs, Teresa

Betsy said...

WHat everyone else has said. Thank you for sharing with us. But it's never to late to change until the final ending, so I'll be praying for a change of heart for your sister and patience for you and Claudia.

Grayseasailor said...

Thank you for being such a good auntie, Meredith. Your good example encourages me to continue to grow to be a better auntie to my 20 nieces and nephews. I am ashamed to say I have never tallied the number of great nieces and nephews I have...I have room for improvement on all my relationships !!!

Thanks for posting about the fun you had with your family. The ocean and your great niece and nephew look wonderful :)

Blessings to you and yours,
Gracie xx

Fay said...

Hi Meredith, I too love being an aunty! It is truly very special. It looks like much fun was had on the beach! Lovely fun!
By the way, I have changed my blog name and address.
Fay (faeryfay)

serendipity said...

What a moving post. So sad that your other sister doesn't want to be a part of your life, but maybe her children will see things differently one day. Sounds like you had a fab time last week! xx

EMMA said...

Lovely love filled post. You sound like a great aunty to have. Maybe your sister will read this and then who knows...
I don't have any brothers or sisters but I'm an aunt to my husband side of the family. I was only thinking recently about how I've watched one niece in particular growing up, at times she was quite a handful, but is now a lovely young lady who is now also my friend.
I have LOTS of aunts who are all lovely, but there is one with whom I have an extra special bond. Since my mother passed away it is always her who I call when I need to speak to a mother figure.
Indeed a good auntie is a very precious thing.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Such a beautiful and heart felt post. :)

Sending ((hugs)) your way sweet friend.

Blessings always

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I know all about those kind of holes in the heart, Meredith. Each of our loves has their very own space, no one else can fill it. While you go on and you enjoy all you have, there is still a space. Yep, you said it just right.

I know you are a wonderful aunt!! And, you have the "fun house"!! glad you enjoyed this special time with your family. blessings ~ tanna

kathy b said...


We are in a similar situation with my brothers children...estrangement is part of many families and ours is no exception.

I love being an Aunt too. Co incidentally we spent yesterday at our nephew's home with his wife and 2 young children.

YOUR water/ocean images are really great!

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Family dynamics!!
Remember- as you know - it takes two!! Hopefully as your Other nieces and nephew get older - they will venture out on their own and fill that hole in your heart!!

linda said...

Your nieces and nephews are so lucky to have such a terrific Aunt Meredith those little one's are having so much fun! I have two nephews who are all grown up and have families, I rarely see either of them so I do know where you are coming from, it's their loss. xxx

Susanne said...

Never give up, just keep on praying for your sister. Sometimes it takes something drastic to bring a hard hearted person around to letting go and forgiveness, no matter whose fault it is. The relationship is more important than who is wrong or right. Unfortunately sometimes it takes a person a lifetime to realize that, and then the regret is for all the time that was lost over what was probably nothing that important anyways. Some people do not realize that what is really important is family and when you hit rock bottom you find the one true rock and that is Christ, and he is all about loving everyone and forgiveness. It does hurt though. I made a comment a few years ago about a friend who wasn't much of a friend. I sent her a card months ago asking her if she could find it in her heart to forgive me. She never replied. I find it ironic that she collects angels.
(((HUGS to you a wonderful auntie)
Susanne :)

Jennifer said...

I appreciate your honesty about your sister. I'm sorry it has been painful for you. Hopefully she'll see that you are there for her and her children and she will find her way back to the rest of you.

Jennifer said...

I appreciate your honesty about your sister. I'm sorry it has been painful for you. Hopefully she'll see that you are there for her and her children and she will find her way back to the rest of you.

Pradeepa said...

Lovely photos. Those little ones are surely having fun. I hope the issue with your sister resolves soon.

Astri said...

Sorry about your sis...similar things going on in my neck of the woods too.
I hope time heals.

gilly said...

What a beautiful, heartfelt post. Do keep that little space in your heart open and my hope is that one day it will be full again. I love being an aunt too - I don't actually have any nieces or nephews, but I am "Aunty" Gilly to my best friends kids and I love & treasure them more than words can say. What a blessing it is to be an aunt, and watch them grow.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

Such a poignant and honest post Mere.

In it's wake I find myself sad, yet again, that I barely know my three nieces (my brother-in-law's children). No family rift here, just accidents of geography and two brothers who couldn't be more different, or more disinterested in keeping in touch. I can be reasonably sure I'd recognise the girls in the street, but I doubt I've seen them ten times in their lives and all are over 20 now. And as my sister is childless they are the only nieces or nephews I have.

Annie @ knitsofacto said...

I meant to say ... you sound like the best aunt ever x

pembrokeshire lass said...

I was so enjoying reading your thoughts and seeing the photos....just lovely....when you said about your other sister....I am so sad for you. More so because I have exactly the same thing with my sister who decided to be absolutely vindictive to my son's wife and by doing so split the family. I, too, have tried to repair the chasm she has caused but to no effect. The problem is that she has also poisoned her 4 childrens' minds against us! I am just so sad for my mother who is in the middle! Life is hard, isn't it? And too short to do this. You have done all you can and so can live with yourself but it doesn't stop the pain..gentle hugs my friend. Joan

Delia Ryder said...

Everybody she have wonderful aunty like you. You are a special lady keep enjoying the love and friendships they give you and you give them. Big hugs, dee x

Deb said...

How lucky to be able to call you Auntie!! The photos tell the story of how much fun everyone had ♥

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Family separations are so hard, and it seems that more and more we hear, or experience this in life.

It does sound like you had a great time with your niece and nephew, and that water is amazing.


moonstruckcreations said...

Looks like you had a lot of fun!

I have 8 nieces and 5 nephews - sadly I only get to see them once a year as they live abroad. But we have a great time when we get together! I also have a great niece and a great newphew as well (Im not old enough for that surely...)

3 more nieces married recently and 2 of them are expecting babies in the autumn - better get those crochet hooks out so I can post something over to them!


Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Thinking of you and Claudia. I hope someday your sister realizes what she is missing. Hugs, Patti

Mrs. Micawber said...

It is very special, being an aunt ... especially when you aren't able to have kids of your own. I am blessed with lots of nieces and nephews, and now many great-nieces and nephews. I have one very precious niece who is like a daughter to me - only better, since we are spared some of the tension that seems inevitable in parent-child relationships. We have a great friendship as well as that loving relationship you described so well in your post.

I'm so happy that you have such dear nieces and nephews to love, Mere, and sorry that you should be estranged from the others. Hugs to you - and I'll bet you are the best aunt in the world!

Liz said...

I bet you are a wonderful aunt. I, too, have two estranged brothers. One is recent...we haven't spoken in a year and his children were close with mine (my one). My brother asked me for help and instead of giving material things or money, I told him he needed to grow up and support his family, and stop hurting his children. He no longer wishes to speak to me. I feel bad for Ireland because she has no brothers or sisters and I was hoping that her and her cousins could be close. Maybe one day, we can get past it, but I can't get past the fact that he is causing his children (ages 6 and 2)to suffer. Oh well, I don't know what to do. Anyway, I have a sister that I am close to and I get to be an aunt to her 3.

Family issues are tough and I'm learning that I can talk about these things with others that really do understand. Thank you for this post...I see there are others that understand.

Rose Red said...

The kids are so lucky to have you in their lives, just as you are them. Family dynamics are weird, there's no doubting it. We are not a very close family (although we mostly get on when we do see each other) but my husband's family is much closer, and it's great to see all the kids playing together.