(Maybe you are a parent or grandparent reading this, if so pass it on!)
When you first hear you are going to have a new niece or nephew, or are lucky enough to be asked to be a godparent it’s exciting, makes you feel happy, a celebrated event.
You enjoy meeting and holding your precious new niece, nephew or godchild, share a selfie on facebook, buy a lovely ‘new born gift’, a first birthday present and, or christening gift.
You promise the baby and yourself that you’ll be a great person in their lives, always look out for them, be there for them and be there to help them enjoy the world.
But before you know it little ‘Mary’ is three years old and you only ever see her at Christmas or on her birthday IF you have time and even then she doesn’t really know who you are.
Yes you are working, yes you have your own children, yes you live an hour away etc etc BUT what happened to all those good intentions?
Good intentions are all well and good, but if you don’t actually do anything well they don’t actually mean anything - it’s the old excuses… could have done, would have done, will do, next time, but in fact you HAVEN’T, DIDN’T and DON’T!
I love spending time with my nieces, and my great niece too. I’ve one of them to pick up at twelve o’clock today and I KNOW after she goes home I’ll be hoovering up glitter and sequins for weeks!
But when I do collect her, see her as she runs to the door shouting ‘Aunty Jen’ and gives me a huge hug and big smile it makes all the glitter and sequins worthwhile, oh and all the laughing and smiling we’ll do together helps as well!
It’s fab being an aunty, and I’m sure it is being an uncle and a godparent too, we can spoil them, treat them, play silly games with them - even have a go on the see saw and slide.
We can enjoy going to the cinema and watching the new Disney films, visiting the farm or zoo, making popcorn and snuggling on the couch to watch cartoons, getting messy with paint (and glitter), dancing around the living room and jumping on the couch to get away from the crocodiles (or volcano lava according to my niece!) and as they get older doing hair and make up, going on go karts or swimming - great excuse to go on that new slide in the swimming baths (you really couldn’t go there alone).
There’s loads of fun to be had together so simply put, if you don’t have your niece, nephew or godchild for a visit regularly YOU are the one missing out!
Of course I’m not suggesting you should have them every week, every Saturday night (sorry parents!).
But maybe once every month, six weeks or couple of months for a sleep over - they’ll be so excited.
I know if you’ve got children and so has your brother, sister or friend that this may be hard for you, but maybe you could swop children for the day - then you’ll all get a chance to be that fab aunty, uncle or godparent.
Or have your children and your niece, nephew or godchild too - what difference is one more child going to make.
Yes parents this means you would have a babysitter but you’ve got to do it for your brother, sister or friend too!
As I write quite often, their childhoods go by so fast, it’s the time with you today that creates the bond between you both - this does apply to aunts, uncles and godparents too.
As our children become teenagers sometimes they need this ‘other’ trusted and loved adult in their life too - someone to talk to when times are tough, someone to be ‘on their side’, someone to help them make the right choice, a place and person of safety when things are going wrong.
And this is what you promised when they were just a baby… ‘I’ll always look out for you, be there for you and be there to help you enjoy the world’.
But how will they be able to do this if they don’t know you, don’t play with you, have days out with you, or sleep overs at your house and only see you at Christmas - even if you do bring great presents?
Anyway got to run, off to pick up my niece, take her to McDonald’s for lunch, then the cake shop so she can choose a special cake tor us to share after our tea, then it’s home for glueing, glitter, sequins and paint, before playing Snap, dolls and hairdressers, after that it’s be a bath bomb bath for her (favourite activity!) then snuggles with stories before bed!
No I won’t be telling her Dad about the sweets and ice cream - it’s my job to enjoy, love AND spoil her!
Written by, on Facebook, Me & You @meandyoubyjenni to support the Greater Shantallow Talking To Our Babies, Greater Shantallow Area Partnership. Tel; 028 71358787 / Facebook; Talking To Our Babies / www.shantallow.net
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