When I married my husband, I not only committed myself to the love of my life, I also became officially part of a large and still growing family. I now have five nieces and two nephews and there are more little ones on the way. On my wedding day my friends and family started calling me, “Mrs. Smith,” but some of the greatest joy came from hearing the littlest ones call me, “Aunt Angie.”
|The Smith family is big, and only getting bigger!|
I am honored to have become Uncle Drew’s wife, Aunt Angie. Newlyweds often stress out about getting along with their parents and siblings in-law, but I think it is even more significant to gain acceptance by nieces and nephews. Children possess an innocence that makes their perception and reception of adults honest and true. Every moment spent with one of my nieces or nephews easily becomes the cutest moment of my life. The things they say and do, their mannerisms, their smiles and giggles, and the things that make them unique individuals are little treasures that warm my soul; to earn their love is to have in my heart something more precious than all the gold in the world. I realize that in ten, twenty, thirty years, those little girls probably won’t recall that I spent a lot of time playing in their new tent with them over the weekend, but they will remember it when I see them again in a few weeks, and that is what matters the most.
When I think about the kind of relationship I want to have with my nieces and nephews, I immediately see the faces of all of my own aunts. They have played with me, read to me, given me awesome cousins to grow up with, fed me the most delicious food, supported me, been role models, shared my excitement about good things and my concerns when I faced challenges. In my aunts I have a godmother, a confirmation sponsor, and a host of perpetual cheerleaders. They are all beautiful, inside and out, they aren't afraid to be goofy, and for my whole life they have made me feel special and loved. I distinctly recall many a sleepover when my cousins and I would request a bedtime story. Sometimes it was told by one aunt and sometimes it was a team effort, but the stories were always magical and intricate and as a child I had no idea how they could be so creative on the spot. I admired them and wanted to grow up to be like them. This past Sunday evening I was snuggling with my niece at bedtime, and as I looked at her I thought about my aunts and thought to myself, “If she asked for a story, I bet I could do it for her.” For me, that was a very special moment.
It causes me to pause in awe that I am now charged with the same responsibilities and privileges of my aunts whom I have looked up to for so long, and I think it is a wonderful blessing.
And since I have an affinity for rhyme, I just couldn't help myself and I wrote a poem:
Ode to My Aunts
To all of my wonderful, sensational aunts,
with your beautiful hearts,
and warm, loving hands:
Thank you for all for being a good part of my life,
I think I appreciate you more
now that I'm a wife.
You traveled frequently and sometimes long distances
to be there for birthdays, baptisms,
Thanksgivings, and Christmases.
I always enjoyed the times you'd come to stay,
the fun things we'd do,
and the games we would play.
It's fun to have an aunt to talk to and make you smile,
somebody other than a parent
who always thinks you are worthwhile.
I could go on and on from here to Kalamazoo,
so to just put it simply,
I'll say, "I love you!"