Just a few days ago, I became an Aunt, for the first official time that is. I have been “Auntie Mel” to three darling boys over two years now, as two of my closest friends have started families. Being an Auntie, by no means, compares to the responsibilities like that of the parent. However, I do have a certain extent of responsibility, even from afar or even when I am privileged to see them on a visit. And I like to think that I take those responsibilities very seriously.
Okay, so the silly faces was my idea, but I also felt responsibility to bequeath this knowledge of innocent silliness—and just have fun.
Over the course of these diaper days, I have learned fundamental basics of babies that has prepared me for my own nephew. Basics, such as, appropriate sizes of toddler clothes according to the “m” or “T” numbers; creative gifts for learning; and my favorite—kids’ books. Probably most of all, I am learning not to try and rush past these diaper days. They fly in time quickly enough already, but a week or so before my nephew was born, I got a few emails with baby discussion and note about the new Aunt responsibilities.
Perhaps the reference was a general one, but baby bliss had been in the family texting all week and we were getting anxious to meet the little one that my mind took to thinking of the new baby responsibilities. Living closer to my sister and brother-in-law, compared to my friends, I will hopefully be able to see my nephew more often. And this is where I realized my Aunt responsibilities—for now—are limited and different.
So I made a list and text it to my sister, just for clarification:
- Sit and hold the baby, supported by pillows, until my arms feel like they are falling off.
- More gifts (like baby shoes!)
- Ensuring diapers are well stocked (sort of personal inside joke.)
That’s it. For some reason though, the list bothered me…because I was focusing on how I cannot help. But that was never part of my prayers. I have been praying my eyes hold, in order to see the baby, as well as my sister, Megan, and her husband when they arrive for a time to meet the newest family member too. I still have sight, even if today was ever so frustrating.
I still have yet to hold you, my sweet little nephew…and I will hold you until my arms feel like they are falling off. As you grow, Aunt Mel’s responsibilities may indeed be different, well past diaper days. I can’t play with toys on the floor or read paper-back books or teach you the motions to most of the kid songs that your Grandma might teach you. But there is one thing I can do—something special that never changes. I can tell you why I love Jesus. And I can pray that one day, you love Jesus too.