That’s right, y’all: Mickey and I are an Aunt and an Uncle again! Last week, we found out that the sex of eldest brother in our family, Thomas, and his wife Emilie’s baby. Yes, yes, yes: we have a younger brother who has two kids and we knew Thomas and Emilie were having a baby for some time, but there is nothing else like hearing, “It’s a girl!” to make you feel like, “Wow, this is actually happening!!” And to be a part of the process! Mickey and I both caught each other at the right time last week to tell each other, “OMG! Can you believe it? OMG, a niece!!” as loudly across our keyboards as we could.
This also got us talking to each other about the nature of this relationship: what does it mean to be an aunt/uncle and what is our relationship with aunt/uncles? Thus, our conversation.
I send Mickey a link to a Facebook photo of an ultrasound that has the name “Fitzpatrick” up top and what appears to be a baby. God knows the sex of it but, if you look at the caption, you know it’s a girl.
Mickey giggles, just giving a simple, “D’Awwwwwww.”
I quickly jump on top of that, in my best Dave Chapelle’s Lottery Winner, yelling, “We Uncles and Aunts, y’all!!”
Mickey laughs about things and I jump in, doing my best Anderson Cooper reporting: “How do you feel about being a new aunt?! Is it exciting?!”
Mickey doesn’t reply, taking a minute to think. I fill the silence with my thoughts: “I’m more excited because the idea of being an Uncle to a little girl is super, super amazing. All I can think is, ‘~*~fAsHiOn AdViCe~*~MaNiCuReS~*~PeDiCuReS~*~hAiR SaLoNs~*~l’OrEaL~*~U r WoRtH iT~*~'”
She quickly responds to that, in a seemingly endearing yet bitter way: “Woah, your little sister didn’t deserve that!”
I think quickly, “EEEEEESH, what did I do?!” But even quicker, I think, “PSSSSSH, I am only ten years older than you and very recently have reached a point where I am nearly a ‘functional adult’.” So, I tell her, “Hey, you got that as I’m older now, I ‘spose. Also, it’s different because being and Aunt or Uncle kind of requires you to be older.”
She thinks for a minute, “I guess… I kinda got to go to The Goodwill, Burger King and the local lake with Relatively Poor Kyle when he visited. I guess that’s cool.” She half laughs but is half serious. I just think to myself, “You have to be kidding me. I barely make enough money to eat now – what did you want? Marc Jacobs Heels then, as I’m barely living??”
I cool my non-tempered self down, remembering she is just a wee babe: “I was a kid then! Now, I’m a ~*~HiGh RoLLeR~*~…not really.”
Mickey laughs, telling me, “I know what you mean!”
I side step away from topics that involve me buying her things and ask, “What do you hope to be as an aunt?”
Even though she already is one, she provides a statement of her beliefs in relationship to Aunts: “I want to be that person my niece or nephew can go to anything with and really look up to… so, basically, a mix between how I see you and our aunts.”
First, I’m honored to be classified with our fantastic aunts (Aunt Colleen, Aunt Massiel, Aunt Sharon: what up, what up!), then peeved I’m an aunt. I make this face 😐
I then probe, as myself and my aunts are very busy and, in a way, untouchable: “Would you be more accessible? As we know from our communication talk, we’re not that accessible as a family unit. Also, what does being an aunt/uncle mean and what do you think the relationship is?” I am sure to load all of the crazy, heavy questions in one sitting.
Mickey thinks, with a big, “Yes! One of my main goals is to be easy to talk to! I hated not being able to talk to you when I was feeling down and I want them to think of me as basically their big sister.” I nod from across the country, realizing I am a little shut off (from everyone) and that, through technology, Mickey may be a better me: using the Internet to actually communicate – not work.
I tell her that I agree, jumping on top of her Aunt/Uncle idea with this: “I think an aunt or uncle’s job is to be an influencer. That’s the most important thing they need to do. The same can be said with a Godmother or Godfather: to influence their Godson/Goddaughter to become something better and, really, cooler than they are. That’s the point of any family member before you!” I start sharing stories of how a few Aunts have enabled my artistic sensibilities and even purchased me art supplies as a kid, encouraging me to be unique and become the driven weirdo that I am today.
She agrees with my assessment of the job and affirms that she noticed that and has even noticed that with herself. I ask her, “Who has been that for you? Who has been that influencer, like a few aunts have been to me?”
She waits a while, then coyly types, “Umm…you?”