Thursday, July 11, 2013

On Being An Aunt.

Living on my own has been fun and exciting and stressful so far. I've been in Madison for about two months and I am completely in love with how busy and full it is. There is so much to do and see and eat and I get to work right on State Street at the center of it all. That being said, I miss my family a lot. 

There are tons of kids in my family. Among those, I count myself and my little  brother Evan. Evan is one of this people whose personality and presence is so large that when he's not around it is always obvious to me. I can imagine his snarky comments constantly. I also miss my big sisters and their seven kids. Seven. 

My big sisters filled that "Aunt" role for me when I was growing up. They have a different Mom than I do and are both ten+ years older than me. Both of my parents have siblings, but my mother's family stayed in Wisconsin and my father's siblings weren't around as much--I saw them at family gatherings but was always closer to my sisters. I love my sisters. On top of how amazing they are individually, they are also both great mothers. Motherhood is hard, you guys. You don't get to give the kids back. 

When I get to spend time with my nieces and nephews, I am a happier person. They always make me happy. Without fail. Great kids are like that. From the two adorable three year olds to the brilliant older ones, they have never annoyed me as much as other human beings. And human beings in general annoy me. The fact that I get to give these ones back to their parents helps. I value my relationship with every single one of them. Only being home for a few months in the summer and one at Christmas has been hard. Little kids don't remember who you are when you go away that much, and it hurts. Even though you know they're one year old and literally don't have the capacity to do so, it hurts.

And so I'm supposed to be on my own and growing emotionally and mentally and "finding myself" but all I wanna do is hang out with my family. I've been living in Wisconsin since January of 2009. Am I due some time at home? Even though its super lame to live at home at 23? A lot of my mom's side of the family still lives here, and I see them sometimes, though not as often as I'd like. My Favorite Aunt when I was growing up was my Aunt Arlene. She was always the highlight of my childhood visits to Wisconsin. (Other than the barn cats and kittens, of course.) She died in 2008, before I started at Beloit. More than anything I wish I could have the Aunt relationship with her that I hope to have with my nieces and nephews as they grow up. I wish I could have spent my fall and spring breaks at her house. I wish I had an adult to confide in face to face. But I found a few replacement families at Beloit--ones who treated me with so much kindness that it's almost unbelievable to me now. I am appreciative of and couldn't have made it through college without those Midwest families, but I miss my own. I wanna be surrounded by babies and know all the Nick Jr commercials by heart. I miss going on swings all the time because I am unashamedly juvenille. I want to hang out with my brother before he goes off to college in the fall. I want to get to know my sisters and parents better before I start grad school next fall. I've got until mid-August to decide, I guess.