Women who have not had the pleasure of being a childless auntie may never get it.
They may never purchase dainty, delicately smocked, ridiculously overpriced, easily stainable and subsequently destroyable outfits that will fit little bodies for – at most – three months, because the clothes are cute and they don’t have to save for college.
They may never cut out of work early, claiming they have an appointment, in a mad dash to make it home for sufficient playtime before the inevitable bath-book-bottle-bed routine begins at 6:45pm, because it isn’t a visit without at least ten rounds of, “Wheeeeeere’s baby? THERE HE IS!”
They may never be the recipient of the oh-my-gosh-that-lady-who-always-has-candy-is-here-again look, with eyes glimmering, arms outstretched, palms open, and fingers wiggling, because what’s a little sugar before dinner?
They may never experience the instinctual grab for their hand in a crowded spot and the easy audience for their sub-par comedy routines (oh! the belly laughs); they may never catch a whiff of that for which the whimsical, delicate Baby’s Breath flower was named or hear the squeaky, life-affirming coos babies make in their earliest days.
They may never get to sit by their sister – she, exhausted and crying; baby, hours-hold and screaming – as they try breastfeeding for the first time, and watch them both relax as the baby latches, the mother sighs, and the duo settle into a miraculous lifelong bond.
They may never get to experience the boundless feeling of worthiness and delight that reminds them they’re important figures of unconditional love, consequence-free play, and pride-inducing admiration from small humans who don’t have to love them, or reach for them when they’re scared – frozen in the pick-me-up-and-soothe-me posture – or wear onesies that say My Auntie Rocks, but they do it – with their entire beings – because, you’re Auntie and in their eyes, you do rock, and once you fall under their unbreakable spells, no other opinions matter.
Women who have not had the pleasure of being a childless auntie may never know what it’s like to have all the fun and none of the responsibility, to experience the distinct honor of being loved just because they’re themselves, or to receive invaluable practice for their own motherhood … all because their sister had a baby.