By the lovely Grace Farris.
P.S. Pillows for aunts and on being a great aunt.
By the lovely Grace Farris.
P.S. Pillows for aunts and on being a great aunt.
My brother’s kids range in age from 14-25 (the oldest two are married!!!! one of them has a kid!!!!) and they live all over the country, so I’m mostly the aunt who sends cash on birthdays and Christmas when I actually get my act together, haha. The oldest two were born when I was in middle school, so we’re more like weirdo siblings or cousins than aunt/nephews.
I am an aunt to one cool 14-year-old niece (my only brother’s) only daughter. I don’t get to see her as often as I would like because she spends the majority of time with her mother. I shamelessly spoil her on her birthday and during Hanukkah (NOW!). I have no children and I’m hoping that now that she is a little bit older, we can become closer and I can be her “cool” aunt.
I saw myself in all four and it made me smile.
thanks for the shout-out to the aunts, sometimes we get lost amongst all the mom posts :)
-The aunt who bought them their first tattoo (they would have done it anyway)
Oh I love this post and these comments 💕 I have a two month old and he is well-loved by so many aunties! And only two of them are my sisters. I’ve been so grateful for the love they have shown our new son. Aunts are the BEST.
Please don’t forget “aunt who won’t get vaccinated and goes to super spreader events so has never met her only nephew” and also “aunt who is an addict and will never meet her only nephew”
This post was hard. Thanks for letting me vent.
I’m sorry, Emily. That sounds so hard, and not the loving aunties you must have wanted for your child. In my culture, we use the “auntie” and “uncle” terminology for any close family friend. I grew up with so many loving aunties, and didn’t understand we weren’t related until I was much older. I hope you can consider some honorary aunties (or uncles) for your son. This internet stranger would volunteer! <3
Myself and my son have a bunch of “uncles and aunties” that are not blood relation. So this internet stranger will also be an “auntie” for you son! Sending you love!
Love this :)
Do people consider sister-in-laws to be aunts to their children? Or is there some sort of blood/by marriage difference? I never thought too much about this difference when I was a kid and still don’t to some extent. BUT my sister-in-law recently had a baby (both of whom I adore!) and my mother-in-law made a comment about how I’m not really an aunt since I’m not a blood relative. I feel like the quality of your relationship with the child matters more (I know plenty of friends who who are called aunts and uncles by their friends kids), but curious how others see this.
When I was a kid I wouldn’t have been able to explain any distinction between my aunts who were married to my dad’s brothers (his SIL’s) and my aunt who was my dad’s actual sister! I am team “aunt is a state of being based on your relationship” rather than necessarily a blood relative!
Also, I just got engaged and my fiance’s mom wrote in a note “we are so excited to gain another daughter/sister/aunt” which makes me giddy that I get to gain the title “aunt” just by marrying into their family :)
Wha? I’d never heard that – I consider myself an auntie to all six of my nieces and nephews even though we aren’t related by blood… but they are blood-related to my own children. Growing up, my uncles and aunts by marriage were always considered no less ‘family’ than a direct blood relative :)
Absolutely you can be a non-blood aunt! It’s love that makes you an auntie, in my books, not genetics. There are few relationships I hold as dear as those with my BIL and SIL’s daughters – especially as they’re entering their tween years, I feel like there’s an extra element of intrigue knowing that I was an outsider who got brought in!
Sisters-in-law are DEFINITELY aunts!
I adore my soon-to-be sister in law and she is ABSOLUTELY another aunt to my son! Meanwhile my husband is estranged from our sister, and our son doesn’t even know that “aunt” exists. It is so, so much more than blood relation.
I’ve never heard that and I’m really sorry that you were led to feel like less than the aunt that you want to be. The people married to my mom’s siblings were my aunts and uncles too.
You are indubitably that baby’s auntie and they’re lucky to have you! ❤️
dang, that’s ice cold. the people who married my parents’ siblings are absolutely my aunts and uncles, not to mention my mom’s closest friends who i have always referred to as ‘aunt so-and-so’ or ‘uncle so-and-so’. also, i’m an only child, and my bf’s only brother is just as disinterested in having kids as we are, so i’m thrilled every time a buddy refers to me as ‘auntie jenn’ with their kids or pets, lol.
if there’s one thing i know 100% for sure in life, it’s that ‘family’ is the people you choose, not necessarily who you’re related to by blood.
Ha! oh boy. Your MIL would have conniptions about the tenuous connections I have to my brood of niblings. I’d say 3/4 have no blood or marriage connection AT ALL and of the rest all but two (from 25 that call me Aunty) are not my sibling’s kids but instead mg cousin’s kids. I’m happy to fight her for you if you like.
Carry on Aunty. Love hard.
Your mother-in-law doesn’t understand what the formal definition of aunt is: “the sister of one’s father or mother or the wife of one’s uncle.” If aunts were only blood relatives, I wouldn’t have any because my parents only have brothers!
Your MIL was out of line, perhaps trying to cope with her new role as grandma … projecting fears of not being in charge of the baby. Bit of a territorial moment trying to subconsciously prove she has greater ownership of the baby than you do. Totally normal changing family dynamics stuff but not fair to you! Carry on Auntie Liz!!
I am childless, but I am an aunt to 13–thirteen!–nieces and nephews, and I take my aunting veeeerrry seriously. I recently had the honor of writing and delivering the eulogy for a niece who passed away after a long illness, and in doing so, I called out by name her beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins. Among them were an aunt and uncle who are not biologically related in any way. They are simply family friends who were an important part of her journey. It is the love you give that makes you an aunt, and it sounds like you have that in spades!
That is so beautiful, M.E. And I am so sorry for your loss. xo
I definately consider my non-blood related brother and sister in laws to be the aunts and uncles of my boys and vice versa. Jim, Greg and Liz bring skills, traditions etc. that are so fresh and fun. Jim is so calm, a builder by trade and super practical. Greg loves a party and is so welcoming and Liz is a teacher with high standards for all of her own children, nieces and nephews. My husband calls his uncles ex wife ‘Auntie Ruth’ even though they split up during his childhood. Aunties and Uncles are wonderful.
Um that deranged logic is not far from claiming that adopted children are not really their parents’ children. And this negates the validity of same sex couples’ having equally valid relationships with kids likely carrying DNA from one or zero parents. Neither my husband or I share DNA with our beloved niece, who was carried by my husband’s sister’s wife.
By this logic, am I not really aunt to my sister’s 2 adopted kids because there’s no blood relation? What a ridiculous concept! You are absolutely an aunt!
I just sent this to my sister, who is truly the best aunt to my kiddos!!!
Unhinged Auntie! I like to keep them on their toes with whatever I can come up with. Yelling, silly singing, telling them that their mom is my SISTER!!???? (woah! unbelievable) I’ll do almost anything to see their little eyebrows go up and them looking at their mom like, “wtf?”
This has been getting harder as they get older but luckily my sister keeps having more, so I can still whip out old tricks for the younger ones.
telling them that their mom is my SISTER!!???? (woah! unbelievable) = hahahaha so true!
Spooky Aunt here. This Halloween I bought myself a grown-up version of the skeleton suits I always give my niece and nephews and y’know, it really is the chef’s-kiss outfit for all occasions.
I stumbled across this excerpt from a letter Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo this morning and it jangled all the family chimes in my heart.
“You’re kind to painters, and be sure that the more I think about it the more I feel that there’s nothing more genuinely artistic than to love people. You’ll say to me that then we’d do well to do without art and artists. That’s true on the face of it, but after all, the Greeks and the French and the old Dutchmen accepted art, and we see art always recover after inevitable periods of decline — and I don’t believe that we’d be more virtuous for this reason, that we had a horror of artists and their art. At present I don’t yet find my paintings good enough for the benefits I’ve had from you. But once they’re good enough, I assure you that you will have created them just as much as I, and the fact is that we make them together.”
Wow very cool. Thanks for sharing this.
My mom ALWAYS gifted books to my cousin (and me, thankfully :)), with the stated goal of becoming “the book aunt.” I’ve 100% carried this with my into my aunt-hood, and cherish the feeling of picking out the perfect books to make my nieces and nephews feel seen or to ignite their curiosity, just like my sweet momma.
I am a book aunt/cuddly aunt fusion with a sprinkle of subversive aunt.
Cuddly Book Aunt here! <3
that is so beautiful!
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