Confessions of a new aunt: SOS

Colorful baby toys

My beautiful niece Claire was born this past Saturday.

‘Scuse me while I go squeal and jump up and down like a little girl.

Ok, I’m back.

I am over the moon with excitement and joy for my brother and his wife and our family; it’s quite simply the awesomest. thing. ever. Thank goodness for technology; because of it, I’ve been able to see video of Claire, and even face-time with her on a sunny day while sitting at a coffee shop. She’s heard my voice, and I live thousands of miles away. That is amazing.

The only thing marring this experience for me (well, other than the whole being thousands of miles away thing) is this lingering feeling that some folks out there…”they”… might be judging me because I am an SOS – single older sister. You know, the one who’s not getting any younger. The one who, if I got pregnant tomorrow, would be labeled as a “geriatric pregnancy”.

Don’t worry, I have no plans to get pregnant tomorrow.

“They” are the ones who, when I say that it’s my younger brother who’s made me an aunt, can’t quite hide the dismay in their eyes as they glance at my empty ring finger and do the math. I can practically hear the “oh, bless your heart”.

This doesn’t happen often, but when it does…grrrr…it’s like fingers on a chalkboard. I’m not a fan. I don’t want, need or deserve anyone’s pity. I work damn hard to build a life of meaning in a society that is obsessed with couples and kids, and I like the life I’ve built. I do not feel “lesser” because I don’t have children. There are times when I indulge in a little self-pity because I don’t have a man to unscrew lids for me, but I kick those thoughts to the curb where they belong, because they are selfish. I am blessed. I have a great life. Is it perfect? No. Nothing is perfect.

But imperfect doesn’t mean unhappy.

I realize that psychologically speaking, my need to proclaim thusly probably indicates that I have more insecurities about this stuff than I admit, and I acknowledge that.  Blog = cheap therapy, remember? And yes, I know, I shouldn’t care if others are judging me, but we all know that is easier said than done.

So here it is, on the record, because when you read it on the interwebs, it’s totally true, right? In this case, it is.

I am happy and not the least bit jealous or sad that I’m an aunt and an SOS. For at least the next decade, hopefully longer, Claire won’t care about my SOS status. Neither should anyone else.

There. I said it, and now I can go back to being the best aunt in the world. Bring it.

photo credit: ladybugbkt via photopin cc

2 thoughts on “Confessions of a new aunt: SOS

  1. Welcome to auntiehood! My brother and his wife had twin girls about two years ago and a son about a year ago (yes, the boy was a surprise). I do happen to be married but we are choosing to not have children so I totally get what you are saying! My “littles” live in Denver so I also get the living too far away thing. God bless Skype is all I gots to say!

  2. Jodi, I am so excited for you. When my now 23 yr old niece was born I remember telling her that I didn’t know what love was until I met her. I moved away from her when she was 9 and next month she is coming to live with us for a year. I am thrilled that you get to have this experience and that you “get” how important this relationship is.
    I also appreciate you writing about creating meaning I a life of couples. I have done that as I wasn’t married until 38. Oh. And by the way, if you’d be geriatric I wonder what I was considered proegnant at at 40.
    Not only will Claire not care what your status is, she will totally appreciate how important she is to her SOS.
    ( oops. I wrote a freak’n blog).

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