I was 14 when my niece, Gracie was born. That was 6 years ago (7 in December) and in the past 6 years I have become best friends with the brightest, most clever and beautiful little girl.
When I thought being an auntie couldn’t get any better we welcomed my nephew Ethan, who is due to turn 2 in January. I was 19 when Ethan was born. The love I have for this handsome little boy is so overwhelming.
However, I did notice a totally different perspective when Ethan was born in comparison to Gracie. At 14 I was young, naive and I didn’t have much care. It took me a little while to adjust to being an auntie and because I was so young as Gracie got older we bickered like sisters (imagine having a screaming match with a 2 year old.. that was us). Eventually we adjusted and we are so incredibly close now.
I had 4 years with Gracie before I headed off to uni which meant I had 4 years to form the most wonderful relationship. Whereas, Ethan was born in my 2nd year of uni and don’t get me wrong, we’re close but I’m definitely missing out on the milestones he’s having. I missed his first word, his first step and the worst bit, I missed his birth.
At this point I would have though I wouldn’t have much of a bond with Baby Ethan but that isn’t what’s happened. When Ethan see’s me he runs at me to kiss me, when I’m on FaceTime he gives the biggest smiles. He acknowledges me and knows me which is something I didn’t think would happen.
These two children are my best friends, without them our family really wouldn’t be complete. I wouldn’t say it wasn’t challenging at first. With me being so young when Gracie arrived I still wanted attention, in fact I craved it more than ever. She was this perfect little doll-like baby and she was taking my thunder (I was the baby in the family). My parents became grandparents and they were having a totally different experience as well. My brother became an uncle (didn’t really bother him as he was older).
Admittedly, I didn’t grow out of these feelings as fast as I should have. However, now I have I realised how much I appreciate and love having these little ones in my life.
Being an auntie means so much more than I could have ever thought. When I’ve picked Gracie up from school and I hear that she has spent the whole day talking about Auntie Beth picking her up, it gives me so much happiness.
Seeing Ethan smile, develop and grow into such a clever boy really is amazing. I have spent the last 3 years studying childhood studies but nothing prepares you to actually watch a child grow.
Being an auntie is so much more to me than I ever could have imagined. I can’t wait to see these children grow and do amazing things with all the potentional they have.
With love, Beth x