“I’ve been afraid of changing, ’cause I built my world around you. Time makes you bolder, children get older, and I’m getting older too.” ~ Stevie Nicks, Landslide
I am an Aunt. I was blessed not to have children. By that I mean I was not ready to have children until the last decade. I went through the no self-esteem method of choosing men until about 36 or so, then when I met a man I would have wanted to have children with, my body had betrayed me and it was not possible. I think it was destined for me, because my Husband is more than happy not to have children and it just be us. But we are damned good at being Aunt Bleu (my favorite color and nickname) and Uncle Will.
We have one nephew and three nieces. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be a parent, if the emotions I have as an Aunt are just a touch of those of a parent. Every time I see them, my heart skips a beat. Their ages are; 5, 9, 15, and 20. It’s such a joy and at the same time so painful watching them grow up. Hearing their early words, those small feet running to give you a big hug, and watching them develop into beautiful men and young women pulls at my heart and fills it with joy. But watching them go through the pains and suffering of not only youth, but additional sufferings that I will not speak of here tears at my very soul.
I can only empathize with parents as their children grow up that I would take an eternity of eye rolls and hand-hipped foot stomps than watch the pains that we humans put ourselves and others through, touch the forever little ones that are our hearts. The famous quote about what does not kill me makes me stronger (paraphrased) doesn’t seem to apply to being an Aunt. What does not kill my nieces or nephew may make them stronger, but it sure kills a little part of me. Maybe that’s why we do survive as children and young adults. As we go through life, those who have gone before us suffer to give of themselves so that we may live. I guess that may be what Christ-like behavior really is after all.