A year ago, or maybe even more, I wrote about how I wanted there to be a national holiday for aunts. Specifically, for really cool, wacky, crazy aunts. I felt that I would be such an aunt. Although, I did not know for sure. But somewhere deep down I had a sense that I would be non-judgmental and full of wisdom that came in a blow-pop form versus cough syrup form. I also knew for sure that I am way hipper than my sister, even though I am older.
Fast forward to present day and all my beliefs about my cool-aunt nature turned out to be true. I have had a chance to spend some time day-in and day out with my nieces the past four months as they recover from the hurricane horrors. And just this very morning, my older niece asked to have her hair put in a bun. Guess who often wears a bun-especially to work. I do. She never before really wore buns as she has super long hair. The week before she bought a new pink jacket with purple flowers. Guess who often wears pink and purple. I do. The last month, my niece has been on a pranking tear. Guess who loves to prank others. I do. She loves to sing and dance to the song “No Roots.” Guess who listens to that song on repeat? I do. Yes, it appears for all intent and purposes that my niece idolizes me. She looks up to me.
And can I just say “about time someone idolizes me.” Its not easy being me. I joke. Just a tad bit. I have had many mentees throughout my career who have thanked me for my investment in them. But it sure is a lot more fun to see my young niece trying to take after me. I don’t have a daughter. And I am happy, very happy that I had a boy. But I appreciate being able to have some formative relationship with a young girl. I like being able to show you can be smart, tough, funny and still like pink.
She drew recently a family portrait in for the form of clouds. I thought it was quite cool and creative. What I especially appreciated was being drawn as the happy, smiley cloud while everyone else was on the grumpy end of the cloud spectrum. It is most definitely a portrait I will keep forever. This way I can show it to her as she is heading off to college when most assuredly I will need to remind her of how cool her aunt is. I will probably have to remind my son as well. Such is one’s lot in life. But they truly do make life worth living. And that is why one can be so cool and cool-seeming to them.