I am a single aunt. In my book that should be an acceptable answer to relationship status questions.
Before my 6 year-old nephew and my 4 year-old niece were born I never imagined I could love endless snot and sticky hands so much. I mean why would I love these little strangers? To what benefit? But somehow it happened; I fell for their tiny hands like a sucker. I fell in head-over-heels. I didn’t foresee how luring their warmth and outlandish humor would be. Another thing I didn’t foresee was how awesome being an aunt (or uncle) is and all the perks it comes with.
For starters, being an aunt or uncle doesn’t come with the downfalls of being a parent. By that I mean paying for diapers, formula, medicine, haircuts. You know all the expensive nonessentials. It does come with all the rewards though. You get to buy toys, play with play-doh and relive childhood. Hop on swings, be a complete goof in public and see them grow.
They think you are amazing. This past weekend I was trying on clothes and asked my sister how I looked to which my nephew immediately responded: “You look perfect yeya. Even if you change and wear brown and blue you still look perfect.” (Yeya derives from Mireya.) I am not too sure why brown and blue is a bad combo but I do know he thinks I could rock it. Needless to say I was instantly smitten. That’s the dream having someone who thinks you are great and says it out loud. Best self-esteem boost ever.
They enjoy what you enjoy. It’s like you get the chance to mold your best buddy’s tastes, no more disagreements on how delicious pickles are because you both love them. And you can convince them to partake in anything. The possibilities are endless. I convinced my camera shy niece and nephew to star in a final project for one of my classes, which was a short film about Batman and Batgirl. (The short could be found here. I promise my camera and editing skills have gotten better with time.)
You get the best art for free. Forget about the “Mona Lisa” and “Starry Night,” the best paintings and drawings are not found in The Louvre or the Museum of Modern Art they could be found at my house spread out everywhere. From the multiple paintings of “a something” my niece gives me to the more thought out drawings of farms and superheroes my nephew produces. Original art of top-notch quality and emotional value for zero dollars and zero cents.
The list of benefits could go on for pages. But the biggest and most rewarding thing about being an aunt or uncle is that you get to influence someone in a positive way and see them grow in ways only children do. It is kind of magical to see them evolve year by year and adopt some of the good parts of you. So magical it even induces a proud puffy-chest stance.