Friday, August 28, 2009

Nieces and nephews

I posted yesterday about some thoughts on the child-free/childless blog. But there was something else that bothered me about that post. She dismissed the joys some of us get from our nieces and nephews.

Logically I know of course that my love for my nieces and nephews is not that same as the love my sisters have for them. But that does not diminish the joy they bring to my life. And they do bring real joy. Take just my oldest niece, for example. I remember being at work the day my sister started having labor pains. I called home every 20 minutes to see if it was time to drive to the hospital. I remember reading to her for the first time. I remember feeling lonely while studying abroad halfway across the world and hearing her say my name for the first time. It was a misprounounced toddlerized version of my name, but it still made my heart soar. And it brought even more joy when I learned she remembered those phone calls and started saying my name every time her mother was on the phone.

I laughed when she was three and clomped around in my way too big for her tennis shoes. We laughed together when she was 11 and gave me a pair of too-small-for-her-but-just-right-for-me tennis shoes. (yes, her mother has really big feet as well)

There are moments of sadness, though, when I think of my nieces and nephews. Not because of what they do, but because they remind me of the joy that children bring and that I wish dearly could be in our house all the time. I get sad when I think that any kids we do eventually have won't have same age cousins to play with. I enjoy seeing my youngest niece and hearing her updates, but I also remember the despair I felt when my little sister gave birth to her after we had our IF diagnosis.

My sister called me a few days ago and asked me to babysit her kids overnight. She works at Starbucks and when my BIL is out of town, it makes more sense for them to spend the night at our house rather than have her try to find a babysitter who is willing to show up at 4:30am so she can open the store. Usually that is fine, although this particular weekend I have a big event on Saturday and she also needed me to take my nephew to his soccer game so I wasn't sure the logistics would work out. We each needed to double check some times, so we agreed to talk again the next day. In the meantime, I started thinking of the fun I could have with the kids: playing games, making blueberry pancakes. When she called the next day and said it might too much work and she would find a babysitter, I was disappointed. I want to spend this time with them. I don't want to miss out on this fun. So we worked it out and the kids will be here in a few hours.

And then I read the blog about how nieces and nephews just don't cut it in terms of providing joy in our lives. That is something I won't accept.


  1. Have a great time with the kiddos!

  2. My nieces and nephews bring me tremendous joy! I am especially close to my first niece. She spends almost every weekend with us. And she truly is a blessing!

    Have fun with your nieces and nephews.

  3. I agree that my nieces and nephews have brought me a tremendous amount of joy over the years. Since I am their only childless aunt I was always referred to as Cool Aunt Peaches (ok not my real name). I have seen how much work it is to raise a child but then I've seen how much joy they can bring to your life also. They aren't a substitute for the children I don't have but they are all I've got for now.


  4. I can't imagine life with my precious niece and nephew. THey are the lights in my child-free lift and I have a connection with them that I think most people would envy with their own kids. I didn't see that blog, but good for you for calling them out on the carpet. In fact, my two special people are so great that they now celebrate Best Aunt Ever day. Pretty profound that a 7 and 10-year old think that me not having a day (like mother's day) is absurd.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...