Dear Savvy Auntie,

My older sister is an amazing woman, my best friend, and a wonderful aunt! She is godmother to my two daughters, and I am excited to see how their relationship grows as my girls get older.

The challenge: my sister is currently single and worried that she will never have her own family. As much as I want to share everything going on with my girls, I worry that this will upset my sister. I feel that I have been extremely lucky and never want it to appear that I am flaunting my own good fortune.

My sister lives 1,500 miles away, and I am interested in ways to make her a part of my daughters' lives in a way that doesn't cause her additional pain. If she lived closer, I would love for us to have the sort of relationship that my mom had with her aunts -- aunts who were a sort of quasi-friend/mother/sister hybrid and were always present. The distance, as well as my sister's worries/sadness, make this challenging, and I am eager to hear any advice.

Savvy Sister

Dear Savvy Sister,

It is so thoughtful and considerate of you to be concerned about your sister. It sounds as if you have a very close relationship and that paves the way for a conversation with her. Tell her of your wishes for her relationship to your daughters and ask her how she would like to proceed. I would guess your hopes and visions are quite similar. Find a way for her to say ”uncle”. Remember when you were kids and that was the fun way to call a halt to an action that was either too much or hurting? She sounds quite capable of telling you how, when, and where to ease up.
Nowadays families are using FaceTime and Skype to stay connected, spanning physical distance and increasing relational closeness. I also suggest that you suggest she send them photos, cards, and notes regularly and vice versa.
Perhaps you can point her in the direction of “Savvy Auntie” here and on Facebook where she will find a wonderful community and lots of information that will help her deal with her situation and feelings. Keep in mind that as your daughters get older they may be able to visit with her independently.
I wish you the best of luck,

Natalie Robinson Garfield

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