For many years the idea of having my own kids was not an idea I was willing to entertain. I did however want to be an auntie. That seemed like the best deal of them all. As an Auntie I could get al the great parts of kids and leave discipline and meltdowns to their parents. Win Win right?
When I met Daniel he already had 2 nieces, Madeline and Julia. I still remember the day I met them, it was at Disneyland. Madeline the goofy outgoing one, wasn’t to sure of what to think about me, and Julia the mousey, shy one, took to me right away. Though I wasn’t yet their Auntie I loved getting to know these little girls, knowing that they just may become my nieces one day too.
It was very soon after that I moved to El Salvador. While I was in El Salvador my Aunthood exploded. My cousin Kim got pregnant, my brothers wife got pregnant and Daniel’s sister gave birth to another little girl. I still remember the day that my brother called me in El Salvador to tell me. “Hello Aunite” he says. “hey bro” (I thought he was referring to me being an auntie for Kim’s baby). He says it again “HELLO AUNTIE” this time with a little force. “wait WHAT!!!” I started screaming. Once I figure out what he was telling me I was beyond excited!! I went running though the Teen Challenge center where I worked yelling “voy estar una tia” seeing as I worked with all men, they humored me and listened to me talk about how excited I was.
When I came home for a 3wk furlough, Daniel and I took the drive to go meet Naomi. His then 1 month old niece. Daniel and I weren’t engaged yet, but I was still excited to meet another little girl that soon be my niece. We hung out and played with the girls for a few days and I fell more in love with all of them.
In November 2006 not long after returning from El Salvador for good, my first nephew was born, Tristin. I still remember the day he was born. It was Thanksgiving day. He was so tiny, I held him and we made faces at one another. I few weeks later I became his very first babysitter, while his mom (my cousin Kim) ran to the bank. She called me twice to check on him, but I didn’t mind, as long as we got to cuddle on the couch.
6 months later my bother became a dad when my niece Penny was born. Still to this day her birth has been the most emotional for me, probably because it was my brother’s daughter. There was a lot going on that day and I only had about 5 mins with Penny, I cried the whole time I held her. I’m not sure I’d loved another human that much in my life.
By the time Daniel and I got married, we had 4 nieces and 1 nephew. For the next couple years that was it, we loved and played with those 5. I think the best part of my day was anytime I heard the word Auntie. In 2009 we get a text message from Daniel’s sister “we’re having twins!!” Two more little nephews to add to our collection. Toby & Trevor were born in March 2010. They were 2 wks old when we made the drive to meet them. They were still in the hospital, we visited them twice a day for 3 days. After that we made a few changes to our schedule so we could see the 3 girls and 2 boys once a month. We put a lot of miles on the car, but it was worth it hear “Aunt Regina, come play stickers with me”.
Then it happened again, just one month after Daniel and I found out I was pregnant, my brother’s wife Tiffany gave birth to their son Duncan. He was 1 day old when Penny “took me” to meet her brother. He’s still so tiny and squeaky. Watching Penny’s love for her baby brother warms my heart.
I can’t wait to hear “Auntie” come out of Duncan, Toby and Trevor. Not long after Penny was born I was thinking about my deep love for my nieces and nephews, totaling 8 now. Why do I love them so much. I realized that seeing as I never saw myself having kids of my own, being an Aunt was in my mind the closest I was going to get to parenthood. So I took all my love and poured it into being an Aunt.
But what ended up happening is those kids sideswiped me with awesomeness. I fell so in love with being an Aunt, I started to want kids of my own. Being an Aunt turned out to be better than I even imagined. And now that Daniel and I are adding our own little person to niece/nephew herd, I can’t help but think if it is even possible to love Imogen more than I love my nieces & nephews. I have talked to enough people to know that we will have a deeper love for her, but how is that possible!! I look forward to parenthood even if I have to have the meltdowns and the discipline and Imogen’s aunties and uncles get all the fun.
Julia, Naomi, Madeline
My sister Kelly And I holding Penny the day after she was born
Me and Tristin, the day he was born
Julia, Naomi, Madeline