I have to face it. Being a Sweet Aunty is not in my future.
This realization came to me a few Sundays ago when we were invited to come to my brother and sister-in-laws place after church for lunch. My husband and I were wandering around the yard, admiring the barn, petting the horses, appreciating the garden and my sister-in-law’s gorgeous flower beds when my brother in law called out that we had to get in. There were hungry humans waiting for us. We came in side and my brother in law told me that he had told his son to come and get us but he quickly shook his head. “I’ll ask Uncle Richard,” he said, “But I’m afraid of Aunty Carolyne.”
Now this didn’t bother me much. Every aunt should have copious amounts of Guilt and Fear in their arsenal when it comes to nieces and nephews.Keeps them from taking over your house completely when they come over, sleeping in your favourite chair, eating the snacks you hoped to save for your husband’s lunch, raiding the pantry and drinking all the pop.
So the comment only made me laugh.
It also made me realize that this young man will never call me his sweet auntie. Nor will the other nieces and nephews. Oh I know they love me. They tell me often enough. (Probably because they’re scared of me). And I love them tons back.
But I am starting to realize that Sweet Little Old Lady will not be spoken out loud in my eulogy. The relatives and friends won’t stand around the fellowship hall of our church all dewy eyed, half-smiles on their faces saying how sweet I was. How gentle. Soft-spoken.
I know who I am and it’s taken me many decades to get here. And I’m okay with myself and who I am. I try to be faithful with what God has blessed me with and I try not to spend too much time on e-bay and Amazon. I try to help where I can and say no where I should. I love to bake for company and have people over and I like to be by myself. I love my kids and grandkids, extended family and community. I lose my temper and use bad words, and probably talk too much. Not exactly the hallmarks of a potential Sweet Little Old Lady.
And that’s okay. I’d sooner my nieces and nephews remember me for camping and crepes and soup and sandwiches and smart remarks that showed them I cared about them. And I do.
I just won’t do it sweetly, that’s all.