Nieces and Nephews: The Greatest Joy

· September 3, 2016

It is said that, at the end of the day, what remains is the most important, and that is our family. Whether our family is big or small, has problems or not, we all turn to someone in our family when we really need intimacy, healing, and a refuge. In this article, we will talk about the luxury, pleasure, and joy of an important part of our family. It is the joy of having nieces or nephews.

To have nieces or nephews is true good fortune; many people cannot enjoy this aspect of life for various reasons. It is important to also point out that not all family is defined by blood. Many people consider their closest friends to also be their family because in those people they have found the respect and understanding that their biological family could never offer them.

We have the family we have, and to see our family grow is one of the most fascinating things we can experience in life. To see a new generation enter the world, and turn everything upside down with their happiness and innocence is a contagious joy for parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents alike.

Many times, the role of aunts and uncles is not very defined or recognized, but what is certain is that between aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews, a truly special relationship is built with certain idiosyncrasies that deserve to be explored and explained. Having nieces and nephews is not only a great joy, but also a luxury, that life will not often give us with such generosity.

You learn what it means to take care of a child

The first diapers. The first tantrums. And for you, the first panic of confusion over how to put together their bottle. The tension of taking in your arms that which is the greatest treasure for your brother or sister, is for you a journey of learning. 

The first time you hug your niece or nephew, you feel all of the strength and affection that originates from family. That strength and affection are embodied in that little being, who could not be more perfect. 

people on sunny day nieces

Always with the utmost feeling of responsibility, each time you take on more time of taking care of your sibling’s child and you realize that panic and fear are not the greatest advisors. As time passes, you get more and more practice in the art of protecting, of caring, and of loving without expecting anything in return. You learn that just their presence makes up for everything: sleep, stress, and clothes stained with various, multicolored things.

You can give your brother or sister a breather

When you realize how big of a responsibility it is to spend a few hours with your niece or nephew, you begin to feel empathy for everything that your brother or sister deals with every day.

If it is your sister, who has also gone through the pregnancy and birth with all of the complications of those experiences, you grow to feel that prudence and understanding are the best ways to establish a good relationship among everyone.

Doing a favor in exchange for something that is even better is not a typical situation. Just with your presence, you can give the new parents hours of rest, time to pamper themselves in peace, and moments together as a couple. In return, you get to spend more time with that little being that has the whole world so stirred up.

At the end of the day, taking them out in the stroller, showing them new things, and seeing how they play and surprise themselves does not seem like such a huge favor.

They get bigger, your life gets richer 

Being in the position of “aunty” or “uncle” is pretty comfortable. You can enjoy all of the great things about your nieces and nephews without having their upbringing as your principal responsibility. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone knows, including you, that enjoying the situation is the best thing that you could do.

Only an aunt, or uncle, can embrace like a parent, advise like a friend, spoil like a grandparent, and keep secrets like a sibling. 

From there, you can appreciate how important you and your niece or nephew can be for each other. You have established a relationship of both care and enjoyment, that follows the rules parents have built but that also creates a whole new world and new kind of bond.

You are brought back to your own childhood

kids in air with balloons nieces

Parents occupy themselves with instilling the values and discipline in their children that the whole family should respect. This is necessary to reinforce their authority and, in turn, reinforce the system of both rules and happiness of their child.

When it comes to nieces and nephews, you are aware that you have to follow those educative guidelines, but since they are already established, you have much more time to play and “explore new worlds.” 

Stay up to date with what is new in the world of cartoons, and the curious reasonings your nieces and nephews take from them. Invent new dances and games where you end up being a cat, a dog, or a vampire. This is fast and effective for losing all sense of the ridiculous. 

You support nieces and nephews through their first anxieties, their first tears

Although sometimes we are moved by their peculiar deductive method of understanding the world, and their most vital problems may at times seem “child-like”, nieces and nephews live their anxieties and disappointments with a great amount of contradiction and intensity. 

For better or for worse, the filter of knowledge and understanding of certain things is still not completely part of them and how they see the world. Each call for attention from adults, or negative interaction with friends, is experienced as a true dramatic event. And there you are, to sustain them, to support them, and to dry their tears of those first difficult experiences. 

girl in rainy window nieces

The world of your nieces or nephews is full of symbology, of imaginary friends, of dreams of being magicians, or of saving all the animals on earth. Nature, for them, is also a place to play and express themselves.

They feel the rain, the moss on the trees, and the wet earth as an extension of their imagination. Because they are who they are, their sensitivity is unique. You should explain things to them with care and affection, and a little bit of magic. They have to be able to understand things that are actually serious without betraying their reality of tenderness and innocence. That is the stage they are in, and it is the best time to be human… so we must contribute to the protection of this, and not break the charm.

You safeguard their goodness and charm, and return it to them later, when they doubt themselves

Keep safe all of the memories you can of your nieces and nephews. Sometimes parents and grandparents are overwhelmed with their upbringing and don’t have the time to remember and store away so many details.

Encourage them to draw and write. Make videos of them in which they tell you what they want to be when they grow up, what is most important to them, and what makes them happy. Take a million pictures, and put them all in a book that you can make with them. Tell your nieces and nephews that by making it, they are creating a “treasure of time” that will only be found again at the right moment.

Make your nieces and nephews be part of the magic you feel for them. Each one of us have dreamed of something like this from our own childhood. Now, you can create it for you, and for your nieces and nephews. It is that magic that makes having nieces and nephews the greatest luxury and joy.