Happy Aunties’ Day

mothers day

This is a fast, quick-write post for all my chosen aunties out there.

I’d have to write an 11-page post about the influence of my mom’s sister on my life. She’s a kindred spirit. She’s the one who got me my first razor to shave my legs (Persian girls, you know!), first one to arch my eyebrows stealthily as my parents set up for dinner, made me feel like a teenager when I wasn’t there yet, told me about her little secrets, and then let me tell her mine. My mom is the nurturer, and for me, my aunt was the sly, naughty aunt who made me feel I was looking fabulous wearing a metaphorical mini-skirt every time we talked.

I’m a mother now, and I still cherish my aunt. In fact, she witnessed first-hand my first child be born into this world.  As a mother now, though, I am lucky to have friends in my life who make up my motherhood.  

To the friends in my life that are like aunts to my children, I wish you and everyone like you a Happy Aunties Day! So many of you don’t have your own children but loves ours just the same.

Andrea is my best friend. My friends have heard me say her name a thousand times. For my baby shower, she got me a Coach bag to store kid’s stuff so that I could have some style through it all. For Layla’s first gift, she got her a build a bear and recorded her voice inside the paw. I’ve heard it so many times that I’ve honestly memorized it: “Hi baby Layla, it’s your auntie Andrea. I just want you to know how much I love you, and I wish I could be there with you right now.” I’d neglected to make a wedding album for myself and only did one for the set of parents, so she found my photographer and made me a 500-page wedding album as a surprise, over 5 years after the wedding! She listens to my mom-rants even though she’s had her own struggle with the idea of motherhood and doesn’t have children of her own.

I’m lucky to have a fortress of women around me who support and appreciate each other.

Chosen Aunties are the people who make mothers sane, listening to us and doing your best to navigate us back to the center. You remind us of old stories and make us laugh at some decisions we make. You say things like, “don’t buy the light fixture for the house; take that writing class you’ve longed for instead, or take that adventure you’ve been craving.” You get our kids ladybug rain coats with matching umbrellas. You open up your house to us on Thanksgiving and let our kids take over. You pick up our babies and throw them in the air, catch them, change their diaper, and hide your exhaustion from our eyes.

You’re the chicks who buy the impractical gifts for the kids that they love. You visit, play card games, buy MASH notes, read book after book, listen to your names be called ten thousand times, get stolen away, and become entertainers instead of guests. You offer to our kids the stuff we often can’t offer to our kids since we’re in the thick of it. We trust you, and we rely on you. Our kids will tell you about their first cigarette before they tell us. They’ll figure out their secret dreams because you’ve shared yours with them and made it possible. You’ll be their confessional, and we’re just happy to have you as our chosen sisters.

You guys keep us sane and help raise our kids. Happy Mother’s Day to all the aunts—blood and not–out there that care deeply and do things to show their solidarity selflessly.

I wish this was more eloquent and all-encompassing. But you chosen aunties understand how it is, and we thank you for it.

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