The Rewards Of Aunthood

The Rewards Of Aunthood

A living, breathing shadow that depends on auntie skills.
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If there's one thing that could warm your heart quicker than a cup of hot chocolate, it's the snuggly hug your little love throws around your neck to show their fondness for you.

There are great rewards of being an aunt, but it can be tough work.

You have to spoil them with all of the love in the world, feed them plenty of treats that their parents would kill you for offering them because they're bouncing off of the walls, and yet, you also have to discipline them when you know that they need to be corrected. An hour with your niece or nephew equates to a day's worth of work. But it's all worth it for the sugary smile they flash at you.

My 2-year-old nephew, Brick (Bryxston), is the apple of my eye. I would do anything for him. I love the way he gets excited about balloons, and how horses are his favorite animals (he can imitate a scarily realistic horse whinny). I find his hobbies -- the way he lights up at the sight of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, bubbles and playing with the dials on our record player -- to be all of the entertainment I would ever need.

One of the greatest rewards of being an aunt is watching my nephew grow. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing Brick form his own thoughts and sentences, and learning how to express himself.

I get the pleasure of teaching him little tricks to get through life safely and happily. Such tricks are memorizing the ABC's and comprehending colors. He seems to be making good progress towards his learning skills, but every once in a while, he thinks the color red is the letter nine.

Like I said, tough work, but it's tough love.

I'm not going to lie, Brick was a stubborn little boy for the first year of his life. He wanted nothing more than to hang with his dad (my brother), but the more my other siblings and I stayed put, the more he wanted us to sit on his favorite blanket with him or fight the monsters living in the dark.

A nephew or niece's curiosity can be a handful, and it's up to aunts to keep them grounded. Even recently, my nephew grabbed scissors of the table. Knowing that he was too young to be handling them, I took them from him. In return, I received a screaming 2-year old. Oh, the joys of technical motherhood.

However, my boy got a sense of how dangerous knives can be, and he finally stopped making a pouty face at me.

I am so proud of my handsome little man, and I can't wait to witness his achievements in the future. And as an aunt, I'll always be a step right behind him just to make sure he's OK.

There truly isn't anything greater than the rewards of aunthood.

Cover Image Credit: Erin Croucher

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Best Friend Every Girl Should Be Blessed Enough To Have

You definitely deserve all the love.

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I have not written this letter, but it has been on my list of "to write" for forever. She keeps asking when I will write one about her and every time I tell her, soon.

Well here it is. The truth on why it took so long? No words seem to do everything justice. No matter how I put them or how I want them to sound, the page always makes them look weird and they always sound lame.

But finally, here it is. Best friend, this one is for you.

First and foremost I will start with a holy cow. We have been best friends for only a short time because who knew your "in school friend" from all those math classes would actually turn into this? We put off hanging out outside of school for years, and finally, after suffering through all that algebra we decided enough was enough.

I wish we had sooner.

I wish I had gotten more time with you before we both moved away to college - but ill take whatever time I get with you because well… you're incredible.

Thank you.

Thank you for finally agreeing to hang out with me.

Thank you for listening to every rant ever - whether it was a paragraph long text, a 2 hour FaceTime call or an hour-long car ride.

Thank you for ordering planners with me and spending nights decorating them with me (we are such losers).

Thank you for letting me become a part of your family.

Thank you for going to Friendly's, IHOP and Target at the most ungodly hours.

Thank you for encouraging me in everything I do, and stopping me from making bad decisions.

Thank you for telling me the truth, despite if it hurt me or not, I know now you will never lie about your feelings towards someone (LOL).

Basically, thank you for everything you have done for me. You have made me a better person and you encourage me to be my best self every single day.

Moving on I want to make it clear how incredibly proud of you I am. I love getting texts from you about your love for your classes, and how you want to be president of this club and president of that. How you help out kids, and how you host events. I love hearing about your major and the classes you are so incredibly excited to take. Watching you be so passionate about what you are doing and becoming makes me want to feel the same way in everything I do.

I hope someday my kids are your students because, in your hands, I know they can change the world.

Last but not least, I love you. And you're stuck with me.

Love,

Your forever number one fan

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