Thursday, June 7, 2012

Aunt Steph's kids

I was always going to have more kids. The Boy and the Girl Child were never meant to be it for me.

I love kids. Well, let me clarify. I love some kids.  When I was still in high school my first nephew David was born and despite being a somewhat surly teenager I was immediately in love with a little brown eyed boy who grew to love Barney and said things to me like, "Aunt Steffy, I think I weigh twifty pounds." My niece-child Krista was born the year after I graduated high school and she became my tiny-little BFF. I'm sure a lot of people thought she was my kid. She used to look like me then. She called me Doshie because she couldn't pronounce Steffy. Once she very loudly told me that all she wanted for her birthday was a tattoo. She was three. We were in a church service. In case you are wondering? She's still that awesome.

There have been many, many nieces and nephews after those first two. The newest ones don't watch Barney, instead favoring something called a Lalaloopsy.  I haven't heard the word twifty in a few years, but my niece Annie frequently offers me some "slupcakes". Just last night, Dacie called me "sweetheart" and last weekend, her older sister Katie wanted to confide in me some secrets. "Don't tell mom!" she said, before she told me some very random things. Because I'm the Auntie. And I get to hear to hear the "secrets". Even the ones that aren't secrets at all.

Because I live in some awful vortex in which time moves entirely too fast, Krista is graduating from high school this weekend. I know it sounds overly dramatic, as I am not her parent and "only" an aunt, but I cannot allow myself to think too much about this. When I do, I keep thinking of this little redheaded girl with a billion big stories. How she waved and waved at us during her preschool graduation from Bright Beginnings, so thrilled that we were there seeing her. How I cried, literally cried, the first time I heard her sing. Because that kid? She can sing.

David is twenty years old this weekend. In the fall he will head to Florida to intern at his Favorite Place on Earth. He is brilliant, hilarious, and kind. He is pretty much exactly the kind of kid you want your kid to be. Pretty much exactly the kind of young man you hope your daughter brings home. I don't say this just because he's my nephew. I say it because it's true.

These nieces and nephews are my kids. They are my kids too.

I didn't give birth to them. I don't pay for their Happy Meals or soft tacos (okay, sometimes I do) and they only sleep at my place sometimes (some more than others). But they are my kids too. 

I love these people. I want what is best for these people. I celebrate their achievements and cry with them when they are down. Other than the very people I gave birth to, they are the sweetest, most promising, most wonderful parts of my family and I am so thankful, so grateful for these bonus kids that I get to have.

I love being an Aunt. It's an honor I don't take lightly. I appreciate every hug, every "I love you". I love, so much, that I can give them cookies and crazy socks and send them home. And most of all, I hope beyond hope that these people know that no matter what happens in this crazy world, Aunt Steph has their back.


So I didn't ever have the kids I intended to have. I didn't have the kids I thought I should have. But I ended up with exactly, EXACTLY the kids I needed.


BakingSuit said...

I feel the same way about my friends and g-d brother's kids. I didn't give birth to any of them, but love them as fiercely as I imagine I will love my (hopefully) future children.

Anonymous said...

That brings tears to my eyes too!!! Love Mom

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Probably the only thing that truly upset me about being an only child was knowing I'd never be an aunt. I remember talking to my father about it when I was 10. I was really devastated. Because I had one aunt and she was shitty. I wanted to be better than her and I'd never get the chance. When I married my husband, he has one brother who has a step-daughter. Still, no aunt for me. Until, this past year, when said brother-in-law legally adopted his 26-year-old step-daughter. And when she graduated from law school last month, she introduced me as "Aunt Heather." I started crying. It? Was awesome. :) Great job, Aunt Steffy!

Nicole said...

Thanks for making me tear up at work! Niecelets and nephews are the best, aren't they? My favorite word from my oldest niece (now 6) was when she called cupcakes "big lickens." Or when she told my sister and I, who were giggling over something, to "stop your shenaginans."

I am going to be a huge, sobbing embarrassment to her when she graduates someday...

Crystal from My Ramblings said...

I love this... I definitely had tears. My nephew is about to turn 2, and I have a niece on the way. I love them so so much. I love being an Aunt. The day I found out my sister was pregnant, my whole world changed and the day Parker was born was the greatest day of my life! I love them like my own... and a lot of times I talk about them like my own!

Anonymous said...

Everyone should have an Aunt Steph. Your nieces and nephews are very blessed; as are your children.

C Sparks Tingle said...

I just love this. It made me cry, as I attended my niece and nephew's graduations this weekend. I, like a person in a previous post, was also an only child and thought I would never be an aunt. (Completely overlooking when I was younger the fact I MIGHT get married someday.) Fortunately, I married into a wonderful, big family, and as life played out, I gained a step-sister who has children. So, I have gotten to be an aunt may times over. I have very much loved that opportunity and responsibility. My nieces and nephews make me proud every day.

Anonymous said...

So sweet. That really made me tear up. They are lucky to have you.