I’m an aunt – again!
If you keep up with my columns, you may recall a couple of weeks ago I mentioned my older brother and sister-in-law chose not to find out if they were having a girl or a boy. They wanted to share that surprise in the delivery room. Well, my brother was good at keeping the suspense going while my sister and I were at work. We learned quickly their bundle of joy had arrived, but he didn’t immediately tell us if we had a niece or a nephew.
So, we waited – my sister a little less patiently than me – to find out they had a sweet little girl, Charlotte Ann. My sister and I were able to visit a few days after her birth to meet her in person, and it was a wonderful feeling to see my brother as a dad. It’s still kind of strange to see my older siblings as parents, but it’s cool to witness them take on their new roles so well.
Other friends and family have told me before about the many blessings of being an aunt, and they couldn’t be more right. Jude, my oldest niece, is a little over 13-months-old, and at the age where she’s getting into everything and so much fun. It’s exciting to see her personality shine through and develop, and she is the happiest little girl.
It’s crazy to think Jude was once just as tiny as Charlotte. My brother and sister-in-law are adjusting well to life as parents (even though they may not believe that at the moment), and Charlotte is starting to slowly show her personality, as well.
My brother lives in Carmel, so it’ll be hard for me not living as close to her as I do Jude, but that just means more trips to visit. Plus, social media and texting can help me stay updated on adorable new faces she makes and any other milestones.
I’m still pretty new at this whole aunt thing, but it’s already been so enjoyable. I don’t want to wish any time away because it’s difficult to accept Jude is feeding herself and ready to walk any minute; but I look forward to the day I can take her and Charlotte shopping, out-to-eat and to the movie theater – just us girls. I’m eager to take them out for ice cream and to spoil them any way I can.
As you also may remember, Jude is my goddaughter, and that’s a special role for me to fill. When she was baptized by my uncle, Father Joe, the parish gave me and her godfather a book titled “The Gift of Godparents, A Handbook for Godparents” by Tom Sheridan. For any godparents out there, this book has some great prayers and advice in it, so check it out.
I take pride in knowing I can help guide Jude spiritually and do my best to answer any questions she may ask. I will also be there for Charlotte if she needs any direction from someone who loves her dearly.
Here is a prayer from Tom Sheridan’s book, and although it is directed to godmothers, I think any aunt or uncle could benefit by saying it or a version of it.
“Dear God, this child is being welcomed into the community of your holy people this day. As a godmother, I have been given the gift of becoming someone special in this young life.
I am present today to witness and celebrate this event, full of joy and love and hope and expectation. Help me always to share my sense of faith and wonder with my godchild. Help me to remember that this little one of yours will always look up to me.
I pray that the sense of the beauty of life that I have today can become part of the life of this new Christian.
It is with faith in Jesus that I stand here as this child’s godmother, sharing the promises of baptism, ready to fulfill the trust placed in me by this child’s parents and by the church.
- A Godmother’s Prayer
I hope both my nieces, and any more nieces or nephews that may come along, always know they can turn to me for help and support.
I’d like to start some traditions with my nieces, but I’m still trying to figure out what that may be. Maybe it could be something special we do each year for their birthday or something around the holidays. What’s something fun you do as an aunt or an uncle?
If you have any suggestions, feel free to share them via email.