It was February 11, 2000. As my family paced the labor and delivery waiting room at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, we were on pins and needles. My baby sister, Liz, was about to have a baby of her own- the first in our family. We had no idea if it would be a boy or a girl, but the plan was that my brother-in-law Chris would come out and tell us the news by throwing us a football (boy) or ballet shoes (girl).
After what felt like a lifetime of waiting, Chris came out and threw us a football! Samuel Christopher Williams (“Sam”) made me an aunt, and when I held him for the first time I thought my heart would explode! I was still single but every time I held him, I was even more excited for my own kids one day.
Now it’s 2019, and the Mom dream has not come true yet. Instead, I’m still living the single aunt life, now with four nieces and one nephew who call me “Cee Cee” (or “Cece” or “Cecil the Mouse” or even “Carol House Furniture”). Sometimes your own plans play out differently than you imagined. But God. His plans are often greater. I can say without hesitation that being an aunt to Sam, Ashley, Ellie, Lindsey and Megan has been the greatest joy of my life. We are about as close as they come outside of a parent-child relationship. I may not have carried them for nine months, but I feel a love and protection for each of them that I can’t explain. I’m beyond grateful that my sisters have allowed me to be such a big part of their lives from day one. I think (hope) they would tell you that I’m the “FAUNT” (fun aunt) and they know they can come to me for anything.
Had I had my own kids any earlier in life, I know my role as an aunt would be a little different. I certainly wouldn’t be quite as cool or “in the know”. I’ve had to step up my game for sure- from listening to rap occasionally to learning how to make TikTok videos to navigating Snapchat - just keeping up with them on social media is a full-time job now that they’re all teenagers. I’ve even caught myself from time to time listening to Post Malone or Cardi B alone in my car just to feel closer to them. Trust me, I never dreamed that I’d be living the single #auntlife but here I am crushing it, wearing my BAE (Best Aunt Ever) shirt, wrapped in my Cee Cee blanket that they gave me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
If you’re an aunt or uncle, still hoping and praying for kids of your own one day, don’t give up on that dream, but don’t waste any more time than you need to away from those precious nieces and nephews. God has put them in your life for a reason. He has given us a responsibility to invest in their lives and love them unconditionally. Don’t waste time mourning the unanswered dreams you’ve had that you miss out on the chance to foster the dreams of the little people God has put in your life. Teach them about God, and better yet, model His love for them in the way that YOU love them. They may have seasons where they go their own ways as they get older, but at least they will always know about God’s love through you.
"Every child needs at least one adult who is irrationally crazy about him or her." — Urie Bronfenbrenner
"An aunt is a safe haven for a child. Someone who will keep your secrets and is always on your side." — Sara Sheridan