“Blood Relation” Sounds Like Something Out Of Braveheart
My daughters have a “Grandma Ruth” and a “Grandma Lulu”, although neither one is my mother. Mia and Eleanor have lots of young relatives that we call “cousins” and women we call “aunts. ” Those titles emerged out of love and for the sake of simplicity; the actual relationships are a little more complicated. My girls are five and three years old – I figure there will be plenty of time to clarify the actual bonds when they are older.
For now, Aunt is our name for special friends and relatives alike.
Above all, it is a moniker of affection. It adds a little specialness, and sparkle. “Auntie,” like “Grandma,” has such a sweet sound, the food industry uses it to name pretzels, pancake syrup, frozen sweet potato pie.
I beam when called “Aunt Cindy.” My nieces and nephews who start to leave off the “aunt” sound old before their time, our relationship less huggy, more handshake. Aunthood can be such a pleasure to have with children, and when I was childless, it felt like an easy pleasure. There was such fun to be had making posters to flash at the NFL cameras with Max and Paige, dancing at the American Idols concert with the Tallahassee nieces, laughing as Maggie and Chloe rode a 10-speed and a trike around our living room couch. All the fun, but I still got to put my feet up to watch Tivo at the end of the visit. It was like parent try-outs.
Now I have my own girls and I’m on the other side of the fence, appreciating the women friends who act like my girls’ aunts, aching over the lost opportunities for relatives who could be closer. My girls are too young to know the difference, but for me, it’s a lesson in patience, in tolerance, in gratitude.Continued on the next page