Dear Nieces and Nephews of the Heart,
We may not be related by blood or even marriage, but we are bound by love.
Through the years as you’ve grown, I hoped to prove to you I could be depended upon to listen to your concerns and give you lots of love beyond the family of your birth. Being an Auntie to you has been a joyous experience for me, and will continue to be all my days, whether I see you often for adventures or only online for now. I will always love you, secret gifts and money to you when I can, and adore hearing about your passions, flirtations, and mistakes — especially the funny ones.
And like a good Auntie I will always be there to support you as you struggle with your changes, to hear you out when you’ve been wronged, and if necessary, protect you from those who seek to harm you.
It’s clear my efforts have not been in vain, but I have to tell you now: I am not the one to come to to complain about your parents for being, well, who they always have been. Remember, I became your Auntie because your parents are my dearest friends. As teens, it’s normal, nay, almost inevitable that once you begin to feel the invading surge of hormones as they flood your brain, muscles, and . . . autonomic functions . . . you’ll find a deep dislike of almost everything your parents do. The best people to talk to about this are your age peers, because they’re going through it, too.
But those things you find so irritating? Those are often the traits I love most about them. They are what make them your parents. Some of you don’t realize this, but those habits and quirks, they’re magical. They have the ability to put a smile on my face, to lighten my psychological burdens, and to pull me out of the darkness.
That’s power. That’s magic.
You may not realize how important these parental traits are, whether singing spontaneously in public, making treasures out of trash, geeking out over some new discovery, or breaking into a dance at the mere thought of something pleasurable, but they helped shape you. They taught you as you grew how to take the cruelty and pain of the world, the everyday ugliness, and turn it into something else. They’re survival tools. You think they’re annoying now, but one day, they might save your life, or the life of a dear friend.
Remember, you can tell me anything and listen, but don’t expect me to sit silently as you complain about the best things your mothers and fathers bring to this world.
Your Auntie Raven