For this weeks article, I was originally going to write a letter to my nephew. Upon reading my first few paragraphs I decided that I would give him the letter at a later date and would instead share some things I’ve learned from being blessed with a nephew.
First, your heart has more room for love than you think it does.
Family is very important to me. My friends and pets are also super important to me. I love them all so much, but having a little person enter my life who is so pure and innocent, is like realizing that you have a section of your heart that you’ve never used before.
Second, be sure you’re giving them the best possible examples.
I was going out with my nephew and his mom one day when someone cut me off on the road. A bad word slipped out of my mouth because for that split second I forgot my nephew was in the back seat. Thank God he was asleep and has no idea what auntie said!
Third, they’re smarter than you think.
My nephew likes to be a bit of a booger sometimes and will do something he knows he’s not supposed to. But, sometimes people think that he just doesn’t understand the difference between right and wrong yet. For example, if you set something down on the table that he can’t have and he reaches for it, you tell him no. A few moments later he’ll be back reaching for that “cookie jar” trying to be all sly about it and watching for your reaction out the corner of his eye. He thinks by flashing you his award-winning smile and baby blues that he can get away with anything.
Fourth, embrace the little things.
So many people today think the most important thing is money or that in order to enjoy life you need to go out and party every chance you get. For me, my favorite day of the week is the day I get to spend with my nephew. Simply going for a walk and to the playground makes for the best day.
Fifth, always use your line of sight.
I have to use "line of sight" all the time while coaching, but while coaching I get to have my back to a “wall” and my kids right in front of me. In the real world, having "line of sight" is not as easy. Whenever my nephew is with me, I’m the lady you see with her back to the shopping rack reaching for an item blindly so I can have my eyes on my favorite little munchkin. Better yet, I make him hold my hand while he’s in the cart because if I have to turn around, I will immediately know when he lets go whether that be because he no longer wants to hold auntie's hand, or God forbid, someone tries to take him.
Sixth, you’ll become a boss at mom duties.
Feeding time, check. Diaper changes, check. Dressing a baby, check. Securing them in their car seat properly, check. Comforting them when the tears start to fall, check. Disciplining when necessary, check. Seriously, what better way is there to prepare yourself for being the best mom to your future children?
Seventh, always be the best auntie you can be!
I asked my nephew the other day if he was my favorite little munchkin and he responded with “yeah.” Besides the hugs and kisses, I receive every time I’m with him, I now have a verbal confirmation that he knows he’s my all time fav. To be a good auntie to him, there’s an array of things I try to accomplish. I try to give him the most creative gifts that he can have for a very long time. I try to come up with the best day trips and plans for us to spend together. I also try to set aside at least one day a week for me to spend with him whether we simply go to the pool or the park.
When he’s older I want him to understand how much he means to me and that he can come to me for absolutely anything. Spending even short amounts of time with him once a week is a great way for him to get know auntie and vice versa. I have it good though, because my nephew lives relatively close to me. If, however, you have a niece or nephew who lives countless of miles away, my advice to you would be to have weekly video calls and when you do get to see them, make sure to have something special planned.