My niece Kelly & Me on Christmas Day, taken by Kelly's camera
I've been an aunt since I was 10 years old. So I feel like I went through the majority of my adolescent growing pains along with my nieces and nephews. Perhaps that is why they all feel like such good friends, rather than just family.
I was fortunate to spend some quality time with them the last few days. Fortunate because they are amazing human beings. I feel I must bow down to my two older sisters for how they've raised such incredible individuals.
My niece Angela on Christmas Eve, Kodak EasyShare LS753
I've always been the auntie that lives far away. Sort of the "wild" one I suppose (although my sisters are closet wild women)...off on my many adventures. I often wondered and worried whether or not my distance would affect my relationship with my nieces and nephews. What I have learned is that it hasn't. When I see them, they treat me as if I've never left. I know it is because they sense my deep love and respect for them and that they understand and respect my choices. I've always wished that my choices would be a good example to them to take large leaps in life. That there is a whole world out there just waiting to be touched, felt, tasted and seen for them to explore. One has already gone to Europe. It will be fun to see what follows and to live vicariously through their experiences (or just join along).
My nephew Casey on Christmas Eve, Kodak EasyShare LS753
Now that they're older...I so look forward to our adventures "together". I have always had a dream of traveling the world with them. So I am putting that energy out there...manifesting that idea for our lives.
My nephew's Sean & Mark on Christmas Eve, Kodak EasyShare LS753
Mark, Angela, Kelly, Casey and Sean...I love you beaucoup and admire the people you are.
A few special bits about each of them:
Mark at our wedding, Photo by Robin Nations
Mark: His peaceful, zen attitude helps everyone sitting near him in a room feel calm, even in the midst of chaos. He always makes you feel so listened to. That is a rare and beautiful quality.
Goofy Angela & Me with Pink Drinks downtown, Kodak EasyShare
Angela: My lil' full of zest Euro-traveler. Her passion for women's history is so inspiring. She does Irish dancing in a pub like none other (sorry, love...I had to). I love that she gets me...perhaps because we're like twins.
Kelly at the Beach, Taken by her boyfriend Dave
Kelly: She never judges, always embraces everyone's differences with her tender heart and has a love affair with vintage people and things (including Marylin Monroe). She's an old soul and illuminates any room she walks into.
Casey at camp, photo taken by his friend
Casey: He sits there quiet and calm and then all of a sudden does something hilarious which makes you belly laugh. I like not knowing what to expect from him. His goofy humor is confident and refreshing.
Sean, photo taken by his friend
Sean: He has a huge imagination and is so passionate about his inventions. I could listen to him for hours...and look forward to how he will enlighten our future society with his original ideas.
Proud, proud auntie...
Me (Sean in background) grinning while singing carols, taken by my hubby