Her Sister's Pregnant. She's Jealous. It's Not What You Think
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
By Katelyn Fry
It was right after my senior year winter break from college. I had just gotten back to my apartment, class didn’t start for another few days and my sister asked me if I was free for a phone date. We were on the phone for no more than two minutes when I could hear in her voice that she was smiling. “Sooo, I have something to tell you,” she said as my heart began to race. “I’m pregnant."
I’m sure we can all remember the first time we were told we were going to be an aunt for the first time - or, an aunt again. Receiving this news is one of the greatest and most unforgettable experiences. It definitely was for me when my sister and I had that phone call about three-and-a-half years ago. There was one aspect about this day for me, however, that may not be as common among all aunts, and one that I’m a little ashamed to admit: I was jealous.
To be clear, I wasn’t jealous of my sister’s pregnancy; I was jealous of my unborn niece!
My sister is ten years older than me, and it’s safe to say she practically raised me herself. She had (and has) been my rock, my guardian, my role model and my other half for as long as I can remember. In return, she always made me her top priority and responsibility, constantly striving for what was best for me, looking out for me, and protective of my overall well-being.
And now, you’re telling me I have to share that unconditional love with someone?!
While I was naturally ecstatic to hear that she was having a baby, I was surprised to find that a small part of me felt this little pang of jealousy. I was no longer going to be the only one she watched out for, no longer on my “baby sister pedestal.” It wasn’t that she was still taking care of me at the time, or that I hadn’t found my own independence yet. In fact, she lives in South Africa, and I was 22-years-old when she got pregnant.
Despite the distance between us and the fact that I was no longer a kid, I couldn’t help but feel like I was still losing something. For 22 years I played the role of not only “little sister;” the only “little” person in my sister’s life, and that was all about to change.
What I didn’t expect was how much else was about to change as well.
Time went on, her belly and the baby inside of it grew, and slowly but surely, our roles reversed. We may have been physically apart, but it was my turn to be the caregiver, through the hormones, the sporadic “Oh my God, I’m going to be a mom” freak-outs, irrational fights with her husband and equally irrational food cravings, morning sickness, preparing a bedroom for my niece, I could go on forever. It was my turn to be the rock.
The more that I returned the favor of being the shoulder to lean and cry on, which she had so selflessly been for me my entire life, the more excited I got about this baby. This woman who has shown me endless love and compassion since the day I was born is about to have a child of her own, and wait a minute – I get to experience the other side of it? I get to take a walk in my sister’s shoes, and offer that same kind of love and care to someone so little? I get to be to someone else, what my sister is to me? Wait, this is amazing…
Two-and-a-half years later it still proves to be more and more amazing with each passing day. September 12, 2014, I was blessed with not only the littlest light of my life, but also with the incredible gift of being the caregiver, not just the one cared for – for both my sister and my beautiful niece. Now it’s just a matter of time until my niece is older and I can tell her how I really felt at first!
Or, maybe not. Some things are best kept within the Auntourage.
Published: March 1, 2017