Being an aunt has been one of my favorite roles I’ve ever played in life. I have two little nephews and a beautiful baby niece – James, Will, and Layla. I don’t think I have quite understood how important being an aunt is until now. I have always enjoyed playing outside, watching movies together, snuggling on the couch, and going to school plays, but it has never clicked that the words I say to them will affect how they see themselves in the future.
I was blessed with aunts and uncles that were encouraging, who spent quality time with me, and made me feel special. They would go to my dance performances, birthday parties, and even include me on their family vacations. I always knew that they loved me and were on my team. The impression they have made on my life is still felt. Even though one of my aunts is no longer alive, I know she, along with my other aunts and uncles would be a huge advocate for me anytime I needed them to be.
Since my first nephew was born, I have made it a point to tell him over and over (to the point he sometimes gets annoyed with me) that he is KIND, and SMART, and SPECIAL, and I LOVE HIM SO MUCH! I decided to do that so that every time he was around me those words would ring in his ear. I have followed this tradition and have started saying it to his brother and sister. I am so glad the Lord put those words in my heart.
As a kid, I dealt with a small amount of bullying, none that really left me scarred for life. I’ve only experienced a “mean” teacher once, and had parents that were amazing and who loved me so much. You could say I had it easy. However, those few times where I was bullied, or my feelings were hurt by a teacher, or I felt my parents were upset with me – I had my family who made me feel beautiful, smart, and special.
When I see my nephews feel inadequate or if my niece cries because she isn’t getting attention, my heart breaks as if they were my own kids. I’m thankful that my brother and sister-in-law give me the chance to spoil them, love them, and be their advocate. The words I say to them should give them life and be a reflection of God’s love for them. The words I say should give them power and strength. The words I say should make them giggle and smile. The words I say should bring them comfort and peace. The words I say should give them certainty that their Aunt Issy/ Stacie will love them and fight for them for as long as I am alive.
I am so glad that I have these beautiful children to see grow up and learn new things and experience life with. You have no idea how special being an aunt is until you’re actually an aunt. Love them. Be there for them. Pray for them. But most importantly, speak life into their little hearts and minds so that when bad days come, they know YOU will be there to listen and love on em’!
James, Will, and Layla,
You are KIND. You are SMART. You are SPECIAL. And I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
Love, Aunt Issy. ❤️