Since I'm the youngest of five and my brother is almost 10 years older than me, I am just realizing that I've had the pleasure of being an aunty for over thirty years! Yep, I was 13 when the oldest came into the world. We rejoiced by dancing and singing Donna Summer songs around some candles - "Someone left the cake out in the rain..." comes to mind every October 6th on Will's birthday.
Since becoming a young aunt I've had the pleasure of babysitting, changing diapers, teaching songs, playing tons of silly games, taking each of them on adventures great and small, "parenting" them during extended summer stays, raising some while their parents went through an awful divorce, sharing dating/relationship advice, answering the embarrassing questions too hard to ask their own parents, celebrating sports, music, academic etc achievements, snuggling with kids piled high in my bed (my 29 year old nieces favorite way to spend time together even today), playing "Tooth Fairy" on camping trips, road trips, pond building in the stream, treehouse construction, and much much much more!
I have the added bonus of some "step" nieces and nephews with whom I've shared some wonderful times through the years as well. When I say how many I've got, I always claim them too - 18 nieces and nephews and four great-nephews!
My step-son came into my life with little connection to his mother's family and immediately (before we were even married) started calling my nieces and nephews his cousins. That made me very happy!
Today I've got one niece (visiting from TN for two weeks) and one nephew and his girlfriend (visiting from CT for the weekend) and we are about to have a fabulous family day on the beach complete with us, my step-son, the grill, and a bonfire! More adventures to add to the list of aunty time!