Holiday Long-Distance Aunties
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
By Brianne Spinelli
Brianne Spinelli is an “Auntie by Relation” (ABR) to Julia, Alexis, and Lucas. Connect with her on Twitter at @freetobebree or here on SavvyAuntie.com, member name: AuntBree.
One mantra of the Savvy Auntie community that I've always adored is that "Aunthood is a gift." In my own experience, I have never found more accurate words to describe my feelings regarding my relationship with my nieces and nephew. Now, during the holiday season, as I sit in front of my Christmas tree reflecting on my beautiful gift of Aunthood, I can't help but feel more than a little sad about one thing: my status as a Long-Distance Auntie, or LDA, to one of my three beloved little ones.
While my younger niece and nephew live nearby, providing me with full access to love and snuggles at a moment's notice, my oldest niece, Julia, lives nearly 2 hours away—on a good day in no traffic. Throw custody schedules, extracurricular activities, and social lives into the mix, and the result is that I don't get to spend nearly as much time as I'd like with Julia.
During holiday time, as calendars and agendas get more cluttered and chaotic, our precious little time together seems to all but disappear. What makes this even tougher for me to cope with is that now, at 15 years old, as Julia is rapidly transitioning from childhood to adulthood, she is simultaneous transitioning from my adorable little wide-eyed niece to my friend.
That makes me want to pick her up to go shopping, take her to concerts of all the bands that we both like (as a self-proclaimed boy band addict, I am proud to share musical taste with my niece), and have "Ladies Who Lunch" dates all the more. When I spent the afternoon shopping for her Christmas presents in the One Direction pop-up store in Manhattan, all I kept thinking was just how much more fun I'd have had if she were there to experience this "1D World" with me.
I know I'm not the only auntie to have experienced these pangs of wanting, and the time of year definitely puts a magnifying glass over that absence in your life.
What's a Long-Distance Auntie (LDA) to do?
Well, in my own instance, I try to plan a very special day for just the two of us. Last year, Julia and I spent a day in New York City. We had lunch at a Times Square hotspot and caught a Broadway show. We spent time wandering, shopping, and just catching up in general. It was perfect because we did everything that Julia wanted to do, and that gave me all that qual-Auntie time—one of the greatest gifts of Aunthood-- I'd been craving. I know it's something neither one of us will ever forget.
Published: December 24, 2012