via creative commons
via creative commons

Today I’m grateful, in this month of 30 days to remember all we have to be thankful for, that I’m an aunt. Being an aunt is a gift someone else has to give you — no one gets to ‘pick’ it. And it’s nothing at all like being a sister, or a mother, or even a grandparent. Nope, it’s all its own thing.

I have several nieces & nephews — 3 nephews, 4 nieces. All with great big hearts. Each as different as their fingerprints. One is a film archivist; another is studying to a sommelier. Another is a microbiologist, another is biding his time to go back to graduate school. Still another is battling brain cancer, while the others are working jobs, traveling, affording me endless joy at no cost to myself. Who wouldn’t be grateful for all this??

Still, being an aunt also has taught me things, not simply presented me with an adulthood of love & friendship. I’ve learned to listen to what the young know that I have forgotten: so many things matter. And they matter NOW. I’ve learned new music (which I ADORE), new jokes (thank you, Donald!), new movies, new books, entire new thought processes!

My nieces & nephews have given me love I never felt I had to ‘earn.’ They’ve visited with me about lives as different from my own as tea & chocolate. Both great, but so different!

And again: who wouldn’t be thankful for all that??

So if you don’t have a ‘blood’ niece or nephew, I strongly recommend you find someone else’s, and glom on to them! I promise you it’s worth the effort.

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