Only two short days ago, I posted “The Problem with Being a Childless Aunt.” This topic weighed heavy on my heart, and I know it’s important to be open and vulnerable in order to heal. But I just couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that this post reflected a fearful and worried attitude. I encourage others to look at the bright side, and I felt like I needed to do this myself…
Listen for the whispers…
As a Christian, I believe that God whispers to us, but the devil often yells and stomps. For me, he seems to yell and stomp the loudest when I am on to something good. So, I got quiet and made a conscious effort to push away the doubts and listen for the truth.
As I drove home from dropping Maddie off at school, I heard an interview on HIS Radio with Jasmine Murray. She talked about struggling with anxiety and how her song, “Fearless” came to be. (You can watch that interview here.) As I listened to her sing, I realized that I, too, want to be fearless!
While contemplating that, I thought about a visit I had with some old friends at Christmas. Two of them are actually childless, one of whom told us all about her adventures with her nephews. She then went on to joke, “Every kid should have a childless aunt who gives them everything they want!” We all laughed (me probably the loudest), and I smiled, “That’s true.”
The Power in Being a Childless Aunt
And that’s when it really dawned on me. Yes, there are struggles with being a childless aunt, but there is also power in it, as well. I’ve said before that my nieces and nephews are very special to me because I do not have biological kids of my own. But you know what? They aren’t just special to me. I am special to them, too.
Will you come…?
How do I know this? Well, while on the way home from my youngest niece’s Winter Band Concert, my oldest niece (who I worry is growing up and away from us) shyly said, “Tia, if I get a part in the school play, will you come see me in it?” And my heart melted. I had watched her youngest sister play in the band. I had watched her middle sister sing in the choir. And it was important to her that I watch her act in the play.
I’ll drop everything!
Of course, I told her that I would come see her! And I’ll be able to drop everything and fly back to Oklahoma because I do not have two-legged kids at home to worry about.
Special Days and More…
Special days wouldn’t have happened if we’d had kids of our own. The close relationship where we can talk about anything and everything (including “if you have kids…” conversations) wouldn’t have happened if we’d had kids. Flying back for dance recitals and plays wouldn’t have happened if we’d had kids.
Loving without distraction…
So, there is power in being a childless aunt. The power to love these kids with your entire heart and without distraction. The power to show them that there are other ways to live life and still be happy. The power to support and encourage and inspire. The power to be more than an aunt!
So, when the devil yells and stomps and tells me I’m not their mom, I’ll smile back at him. No, I’m not their mom. I’m their Tia. And there is POWER in being a childless aunt!