Much has been written about a mother’s love, which is as it should be—moms are important people.
But motherly love is not one I know of firsthand, not at this point in my life.
Auntie love, however, is something I do know a bit about.
My oldest niece will be six in January. I’m sure I drove my college floormates nuts when she was born, talking about her incessantly and posting pictures in the hallway. But it was all so new and exciting, this little human who, though she wasn’t mine, still shared an unbreakable connection with me—her mom is my sister, after all.
With her arrival in the world, I had a new label: Aunt Brianna.
Now, I have two more nieces and two nephews, and am frequently known as simply Aunt B. (It’s become apparent that my parents did not take my future nieces and nephews into consideration when selecting my name, as three syllables are a bit tricky for small children to manage.) Photos of them are litter my phone, computer, and social media accounts, and I eagerly look forward to their hugs and kisses.
It’s hard, though, to write about the particularity of auntie love. I’m sure my love for my nieces and nephews has things in common with their parents’ love for them, but at the same time, it’s like comparing a flashlight to the sun—similar, sort of, but wildly different at the same time.
I want to be the best aunt that I can to my nieces and nephews, but I don’t even entirely know what that means or looks like. Do we ever though, in any relationship, I wonder? Maybe it’s about being the best we can in that moment, even if it looks a little bit different every time. For me, right now, it means showing up when I can, it means reading books and giving hugs, and making sure to say I love you each and every time when we say goodbye, so hopefully they’ll always know it. In 5 years, it might look different, and maybe that’s okay too.
Til next time…
p.s. What does aunt or uncle love look like for you?