The Good Life: The Loving Power of an Auntie

The Good Life: A Year of Thoughtful Seasons by Sarah Mattison Buhl

A Legacy of Love

My Aunt Janine was a teacher who had pop-up books and a knack for telling stories…

This August, we’re having a baby! Well, it’s not exactly our baby. In truth, my brother and sister-in-law are having their first child, and we are all over the moon. It is a guilty pleasure to watch this little life unfolding from afar, because I know sleepless nights are coming their way. I know that they may argue about the best way to get their cranky cherub to sleep, and they may wonder who else in the world is awake, rocking their own newborn at 3 am; I know I did. But now, having nursed my last baby five years ago, I see this tiny girl’s arrival with fresh eyes, and with an entirely different perspective: I get to be her aunt.

Aunts are super-special. I know because I have two of them who always make me feel as though I am the only person in the room that matters. They came to my baptism, my confirmation, my college graduation, my wedding. They send cards. They call. They remind me who I am. Everyone should be so lucky. They laugh crazy and loud. They know all the family history, and tell funny stories about relatives I never knew over lots of popcorn and sometimes glasses of beer. They adore my dad (their little brother), and act as though he is still a sweet-faced 10 year-old boy. He is 75. Did I mention they laugh crazy and loudly? Aunts have VIP status. They tell us things our moms don’t, and they indulge us in a way our moms can’t. Aunts show up at the most special, and the most difficult times. They know that sometimes showing up is all a person can do when things are really bad. They never take, they only give- and their giving falls like generous rain.

My Aunt Nan had six children, and when my brother and I went to her house, she added us to the mix without batting an eye. I never remember her seeming overwhelmed, I only remember her laughing and carrying on about something hilarious I didn’t understand. My Aunt Janine was a teacher who had pop-up books and a knack for telling stories. She has pretty hands and talks with them lavishly. I’m almost sure she could cast a spell on her students with her stories and those hands, just as she could me. As a girl, I would sometimes spend some time in the summer with my Aunts. We’d go to garage sales and visit my even older great aunties who lived in the area. They all called me Sissy.

My baby niece is on her way, and the world will stand still for a moment at the miracle of her birth. Thankfully I know what special aunts do, and I am thrilled to be joining your ranks. I promise, my Dear Aunties, that I will do my very best to carry on your legacy.

[Photo credit: (cc) Adelle & Justin]


Sarah Mattison Buhl

As a mother of three, Sarah appreciates the extraordinary beauty of the ordinary. She makes her home with her family in Northampton, MA.

2 Comments on “The Good Life: The Loving Power of an Auntie

  1. This. Is so beautiful honey I love you honey very much……

  2. Another winner! Always look forward to your articles! Lynne

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