My New Year's Resolution: Be a Better Aunt

Jill Baughman
Healthy Living

Christmas cardsAs a single 20-something living in New York City, I feel like this is the time in my life to be selfish. I don't have many responsibilities outside of going to work. This is quite a stark contrast to my brother: He and his wife (she's my age) live in the burbs in Georgia and already have two children. Many of our relatives wonder how we could possibly have been raised by the same parents.

I never thought much about little kids until I met my nephews. When I held my nephew Reid the day he was born, and he grabbed my finger, I suddenly understood how easy it was to become obsessed over these teeny tiny beings.

As I got to spend time with Reid, who's almost 3, over the holidays, I realized he's actually a tiny person now. I thought, whoa, if I send him a card, he could actually read it, and when I call my brother, I can actually talk to Reid on the phone. I should work on being a better aunt!

It's not going to be easy. I'm pretty lazy, boring, and antisocial by nature and barely keep in touch with anyone unless I have to see them every day. My parents still have to remind me when to send cards for relatives' birthdays. I'm that pathetic.

Since my nephews live in Georgia, I only get to see them a couple times a year, so it's imperative that I keep in touch with them in other ways. My younger nephew, Brooks, will be turning 1 at the end of March, and I think he's mostly content to just eat and poop and sleep as of right now, so I'll worry about being a better aunt to him when he gets a little bit older.

I'll start with being a better aunt to Reid, even if it's calling him just once a month. The last time I tried talking to Reid on the phone, I called while he was eating, and you simply can't interrupt that little guy while he's chowing down. Even then, I'm sure our conversation will amount to: "Hi Auntie Jill!" "Hi Reid-o! How are you?" "... umm, bye Auntie Jill!" "Love you dude!" But that's better than nothing, right? Or am I delirious in thinking a 3-year-old would remember these 5-second conversations? 

If Reid doesn't want to talk on the phone, then the least I could do is try to send my nephews those musical cards they desperately love (you know, the ones you open and they play some obnoxious song -- definitely the biggest Christmas hit from Aunt Jill). I know, it's not the most life-altering, universe-exploding resolution out there. But since Reid is so aware of his surroundings now and he may actually remember me when I see him next, I need to keep reminding him that even though I'm far away, I'm still thinking about him.

Are you a good aunt? Got any tips for me?


Image via pink.polka/Flickr

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