Sometimes Aunty finds it really hard to leave, when the hugs lengthen and they koala stretch their legs around your torso, not wanting you to go. Absolutely pouring all of the love they can through a squeeze which is emanating and making me feel like the most special, most loved aunty in the world.
For a while, I found it hard. The love was always there, but when I lost my husband and our future plans of having many children were tossed into the darkened abyss, hurt and jealousy gently tugged on my heartstrings. Not only were these kids now without an amazing uncle whom is now a fond memory (and some having come along without the opportunity to have met him), but their potential cousins hadn’t the chance to be here.
I get greeted with smiles and excitement, the bonds firmly in place. My role as Awesome Aunty NJ stands strong. They take my hand to show me something, they tell me great stories in detail, they clamber up and sit on me like I’m a couch (and sometimes all at once), they get into the backseat of my car and come for drives with me, they bake with me, they style my hair, they run around with me wild and free, they make me laugh, they make me proud, they give the best hugs, they show me their favourite toys (and sometimes it’s over the phone), they laugh at my made-up songs, and they wipe their snot on me in the most adoring way.
I love them all so much that I want to squeeze them tight and usurp all of their energies into me, so I can carry it around like a second skin. But when Miss Nearly 4 jumped up to hug me goodbye the other day and stayed in my arms for as long as she possibly could and then her cousin that I had only just met snuggled in and did the same, my heart simply melted and I found it hard to leave. I drove away with the music blaring to mask my forming tears.
This aunty has mad love for all of her eleven nieces and nephews and all of the extras, too! At times I really wish Mr T was here to join in the laughter, but other times I know he’s there smiling with me.