I was sitting with a group of women a week or two ago and we got onto how families have changed. One woman brought up how we don't have 'Aunties' like we used to - adult friends that children called 'Auntie' or even blood Aunts who are really involved in the lives of children.
I know I was fortunate to grow up with two Aunt's who knew me well and were involved in my life in ways that only an "Auntie" can be - not quite a mother but not a friend, either - someone who explains family mysteries to you and give you guidance and feedback as well as being fun. Women I spent time with and know and who know me. My Dad's first sister, Elaine and my Mom's sister, Heather, were aunts like that to me. They really do fill a special niche that I think is lacking in a lot of kids' lives these days. I am sure that is partly due to shrinking families - when people only have 1 or 2 children, you just don't need the same kinds of support that you do when you have 4 or 6. And families are more spread out and often don't live in the same town.
So I am especially grateful to my brother who shares his children with me and I get to have the delight of being an "Auntie". And I have a feeling there will be other nephews I will get to know as well as they get older.
My nephew Caleb left on Friday after being here for almost 3 weeks. He was here last October for a similar amount of time. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to get to know him so well.
He is such an interesting kid. I especially love his sense of humour - always so willing to laugh at himself, as well. I pointed out tomato sauce that he had managed to get above his eyebrow. A smile pulled at the corners of his mouth and he says, "I really don't know how I get it up there!"
Here are some unforgettable highlights of his visit:
Some one on one Aunt, Uncle and nephew time at Ellison while Rhiannon was otherwise engaged at a sleepover birthday party. He loved jumping off the granite cliffs with Uncle Dean.
A visit to O'Keefe Ranch - the highlights for him were the fiberglass horse and the candy at the general store. Although he did managed to get through another tour of the mansion without complaining too much...
One of my highlights would be the time I cut up a sirloin tip roast and cooked it as steaks for dinner. I made 4 steaks - one each for me, Dean, Caleb and Drew (Rhiannon doesn't care for beef other than hamburger). Drew wasn't home for dinner so there was one steak left to be put away for him. I walked into the kitchen to make Drew up a plate and set it aside to find nothing left on the table. Caleb, who had lingered at the table had eaten it up. 2 huge steaks. That's half a sirloin tip roast! Oh well, gave us something to tease him about!
And with Caleb about, there was always lots of piano playing. Here is a recording he made of his own composition called "One Dream". You can also find it on Youtube. He'd love it if you left him a comment. Search for "One Dream (AN AWESOME SONG)" or click on my link. He checks daily to see how many views he's had and to check for comments.
He left on Thursday with grandma and grandpa. Sure seems quiet around here without him! Although quiet is good after 6 weeks straight of company!
6 hours ago