From Goddaughter to Godmother
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
By Brianne Spinelli
Brianne Spinelli is an “Auntie by Relation” (ABR) to Julia, Alexis, and Lucas. Hailing from a long line of devoted godmothers, Brianne is proud to call Alexis her goddaughter. Connect with her on Twitter at @freetobebree or here on SavvyAuntie.com, member name: AuntBree.
“Salagagoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo./ Put 'em together and what have you got?/ Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!”
I used to sing those nonsensical words of Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother’s song as a child so much that my little brother even learned the words. In the movie, the majority of the song was meaningless gibberish that provided a catalyst for the Fairy Godmother to work her magic. Now, as an adult, and a godmother at that, the song has taken on a whole new value – one that is more significant than I could have ever imagined. To me, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother did everything within her power to ensure her goddaughter’s happiness all while keeping a can-do attitude and having fun with it! She really is a model for all of us real-life godmothers!
Being a godmother is a blessing in itself. From the moment an auntie is asked to be a child’s godmother, she has the potential to become a very substantial part of the little one’s life. In my own family, we have very strong relationships with our godmothers. So, when my time came, and I was asked to be my niece’s godmother, I can’t begin to describe the amount of honor and joy I felt; I was being given the opportunity to join the ranks of the great women who came before me.
What’s truly amazing is that our godmother-goddaughter bonds have not been forged by gift-giving. Sure, there has always been the usual Christmas, birthday, and “This Made Me Think of You” gifts, but those are norms in any relationship. The thing that has really strengthened our ties is actually a mother-daughter dynamic. Furthermore, because there are generally not the same tensions as in an actual mother-daughter relationship (i.e., teenage angst, rebellion, etc.), our godmothers very much become confidants. There is a mutual sense of caring, encouragement, and respect.
My own godmother, Aunt Jan, was the perfect role model for me as a godmother. She would brush up on whatever I was interested in at any phase in my life so that she could be a part of it. She made Ya-Ya Sisterhood-style hats for the godmothers and goddaughters in our family to wear when we’d have special Godmother/Goddaughter nights. Most importantly, she always made me feel comfortable coming to talk to her about anything. I knew I could confide in Aunt Jan, and anything I said stayed between us. When Aunt Jan passed away nearly three years ago, I felt a gaping hole in my heart. She truly was like a second mother to me. She was buried with her very special Ya-Ya hat, and I did a reading at her funeral. It was one of the toughest times of my life. There was a period that I felt a bit lost because this person, with whom I had a very unique relationship, was taken away from me.
Later that same week, my sister and brother-in-law asked me if I would be my niece, Alexis’s, godmother. It was a quite a roller coaster ride to go from losing one of the most influential people in my life to suddenly becoming that person for someone else. I pray every day that I can be for Alexis exactly what Aunt Jan was for me.
Even at such a young age, Alexis and I are beginning to form our own godmother/goddaughter traditions of our own. The two of us love to bake cupcakes together, and we have Katy Perry dance parties complete with fun-colored wigs. Alexis and I also give each other manicures (keep in mind, she’s not yet 3).
The irreplaceable bond Aunt Jan forged with me is something I am continually working to nurture with Alexis. In striving to provide my goddaughter with the best possible godmother relationship, I am honoring and paying tribute to my godmother.
Photo: Courtesy of Brianne Spinelli
Published: August 27, 2012