March 25, 2006

Happiness is Being an Auntie

This Purple Woman really likes being an Auntie. Tom and I celebrated our nephew's seventh birthday at the Rainforest Cafe at the Yorkdale Mall. We survived three lightening storms and saw orangutans and elephants during dinner (no, not real ones!). It's so easy to make a kid's day. His parents were attending a wedding and we had been playing poker (ante up/bet limit social poker) all afternoon. He was wearing those kind of painter pants that have pockets down the leg. So we spent a loonie to get him a souvenir "penny"at the restaurant's gift store. His new lucky penny went right in his pants pocket.

We have several nieces and nephews. The eldest of them got married two years ago and his sibling has graduated college and is now looking for work as a grade school teacher. Another is attending junior college to become a fire fighter. I've noticed as they get older, they are a little harder to relate to and buy gifts for, but I always feel privileged to be part of their life.

Aunts and uncles have a huge opportunity to play a special role in encouraging their nieces and nephews to embrace their gifts, their dreams. Even just teaching them how to talk to adults, which can be very intimidating for a teenager, is a way to make a difference in their lives. How many times have you seen a teenager just look at their feet and mumble when an adult is around? As for the younger ones, it makes me feel like a special trusted friend when they feel safe enough to ask me a question about something that puzzles them or perhaps they didn't want to ask their parent.

We have invited our next-to-oldest nephew and his sister (Tom's God-child), who both still live at home in California, to come visit us in Toronto, Canada this summer. We think it would be a nice trip abroad for them (our nephew's first), no language barrier, but plenty different and very international. We hope they make it a priority to occupy our guest bedroom. That's why we have one.

1 comment:

Boxing Tomboy said...

I like being an aunt too, especially when I hear about the battles and challenges the parents of my nieces and nephews have to deal with on a daily basis. I can always send the kids home when I get tired. They can't.

I have an 80 year old aunt who is also childfree. She enjoys the heck out of all of her nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews. She praises God, however, that she never had to raise any of us.