Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Privilege

This picture is the focal point of the room where I spend most of my day hanging out, snuggling with the dog and writing these blogs. It's a large canvas with photos of my nieces and nephews being their incredibly beautiful selves.

                            (Click on photo for larger view) IMG_2921

As a single and childless woman, I have often been told by people that you just can't fully understand the love for a child until you have one of your own. The rush of love and caring and protectiveness that comes with knowing a human being is reliant solely on you for their physical and emotional needs is overwhelming. As a parent, you are responsible for making sure you send respectful and responsible adults into the world.

I used to think there was no way in the world I wouldn't be one of those people. Of course I would have children, and of course I was meant for that kind of responsibility. 

Of course, that isn't going to happen.

But I have to tell you, a part of me feels very privileged to be in this position. See those ten individuals on that canvas? There is no one more important to me than them. I have not, in my lifetime, felt a rush of love for my own child that is greater than my rush of love for them. I'm not their cousin's mom. I'm not looking out for someone ahead of them. Those ten people have the unconditional love and support of their parents, and when they aren't in the mood for that option they have an aunt who has no greater mission in life than to be their biggest supporter, their biggest cheerleader and their most ardent fan.

thanksgiving 99  (Thanksgiving 1999, one year later there were three more little ones!)

I found this picture when I was looking through photos to use in another post, and I laughed because it's typical. No matter how old I get, my brothers will think I'm 12 and I'll be sitting at the kids' table. But I looked at that table and realized that it was the only place I would have wanted to be... surrounded by those fun little people who are growing up to be amazing adults. And my only expectation of them is that they be true to themselves and know I'm in their corner. There's no place else I'd rather be.


  1. You are such a wonderful aunt. They are so very lucky to have you.

  2. Wow, you get it. You actually have something I don't have as a mom of two... which is time to enjoy my nieces and nephews and make that kind of relationship with you have with yours. My nieces are coming for a quick two day visit and in my head I have it all planned out... being the "cool" auntie that I am... we're going to do the most fun and crazy memeory making things we can jam into two days... except for one thing... I can't pull it off that way... really BECAUSE of my two kids. It'll still be a blast... but my brother already assures me its my BOYS his girls talk about... not the cool aunt... who is just THE COOL KIDS mom. Hey, you may have just inspired a post! Thanks as always for your insight!

  3. I actually really miss the time I have devoting to my nieces and nephews. Granted, I am thrilled to be a parent afe rlosing our son, but I used to chase them around for hours "again, again, again". Hide n seek for hours. Now, I can only do it a few times before I have to tend to my own child. I am glad though, for the years I had to devote to them and the joy that brought me. And still does on random chances.

  4. Grandparents and aunts and uncles...unconditional love and 24 hour fun...what more can a kid want when he or she needs a break from the parents. We've all been there. You have a very soecial place in their lives, Sara. They are lucky and so are you....and I;ll bet Riley holds a special place in their lives, also.

  5. If I'd had an aunt like you, one who was always in my corner and available, I think I would have grown up much more secure.

    What an amazing privilege and mission.

  6. Ever since my oldest niece was born 11 years ago I've said that I was born to be an aunt - I LOVE it. I've since learned that I won't be having children, so the idea that I was born to be an aunt is stronger than ever these days. I love every minute of it! Especially when I get to take them home after spending an exhausting weekend with me *LOL*