…take a few moments to remember…the auntie.
Aunties are the rule-breakers. When they come over to babysit, the fancy dishes come out, the kitchen becomes a playground, and screen time and bedtime extend. They go on adventures, take my kids to slightly inappropriate movies and shows, and they expose them to new music. They are also the culture-keepers who can share family stories and the histories of our people. They are the oracles who answer questions children don’t want to ask their parents (sex! drugs!) and share knowledge about subjects children didn’t know existed. They see children as their own people, which enables them to talk to kids as whole individuals and understand what they are truly capable of. Parents say, “Let me help” and “That’s not safe.” Aunties just say, “Yes!” —maybe without even lifting their eyes up from the book they’re reading. They expand children’s internal and external boundaries.
Yes, we do. Or at least we try.
From Slate’s “In Praise of the Auntie.” Read more here.
Author and founder of Storyknife.org.