My niece Brooklynn is going to be turning 7 years old at the beginning of March 2008 and I can’t believe she is turning 7 already. It seems just like yesterday, she was this little tiny baby creature that I would take care of while my sister was at work. Now she is almost as tall as me and I can barely pick her up anymore but I still do my best to because she wants me to pick her up. Being Brooklynn’s Aunt or as she tells everyone I’m her NeeNee, has been one of the most life changing rewarding things that has ever happened to me. More than any experience from high school, college and other events in my life, she is the one who has changed me. I honestly can’t imagine my life without her and don’t ever want it to change.
Here are my 8 favorite things that I believe are the best about being an Aunt.
1. Unconditional Love. I may have not given birth to her but the love I feel for her I believe is the same unconditional love she has for me. She makes it a point every night to come to my room and say, “Good night NeeNee, I love you” before she go to sleep, it is hands down the best part of my night, if not my entire day.
2. I can act like a kid and she thinks I’m awesome. We play board games and barbies and we love to play dress up, pretending we are whoever we want to be. I can act like a 6 year old with her but still be in charge and she loves the times we get to play. I can take her to an arcade and try to beat her at a game or see who gets the most tickets and not look crazy to her.
3. She finds me inspiring. I didn’t know how much my niece wanted to be like me until a friend pointed out that Brooklynn acts just like me and she has told people that when she grows up she wants to be just like me.
4. She taught me to be compassionate and patience. I used to babysit all the time but until Brooklynn, I really didn’t have the patience to be around kids for long periods of the day (hence, why my job as a Nanny only last 3 weeks) and when a kid was crying was probably the most annoying thing in the world to me. But when Brooklynn was born it was different, I couldn’t wait to watch her and be with her all the time even if she was crying or sick. I enjoyed being the one who introduces her to new and different things that my sister never would let her do or try. When she is hurt, I like being one of the ones who can take away the hurt and tears.
5. I’m always the good guy even though she just told me I was the bad guy. When she does something bad, I will tell her what she has done and she usually gets upset and tells me she doesn’t like me any more. But give her a minute or 2 and she always comes around to tell me she loves me and that I’m not the bad guy, unlike with my sister who she stays mad at for longer.
6. I’m her confidant and sometimes she is mine. She tells me all her little secrets about whats going on at school, with her friends, at her activites, what she wants. It may drive my sister crazy when she ask Brooklynn a question and she turns to me to whisper her answer to. If she is mad, she tells me why. If she is upset, she comes straight to me and sits on my lap. Plus, whenever I’m upset or mad, she is the first one to come and just sit with me and tries her best to make me smile.
7. She taught me how to tolerant towards my sister. My sister and I have never been close to each other like sisters are thought to be. Growing up we were complete opposites in everything, so we barely spoke to each other or did things together that we weren’t forced to do. But when Brooklynn came along, I learned that I had to put my differences aside with my sister so its brought us a little closer than we were before.
8. I’ve learned to appreciate the small things in life. I get to see her grown bigger and bigger and learn more and more everyday, it’s amazing to see where she has come from being a little baby to this big girl now. I wish at 7, I had her confidence and creativity she has. She enjoys everything that comes her way no matter how big or small, she takes the time to enjoy it. So I have learn to enjoy what comes in life because everything changes so fast. She taught me to slow down and enjoy each day as they come.