I am the youngest of five, and I love being part of a big family. I first became an aunt when I was 6 years old – my oldest nephew Gavin was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1999. I was elated. I remember taking him to show and tell because I was so proud to be an aunt. Since I was only six years older than him, we grew up more as siblings than as me being his aunt. We agitated each other, hung out, played legos together. He is 14 now, and instead of playing legos, I drive him to the mall or play zombies with him on the Xbox. However, he is too cool to call me ‘Aunt Lauren’ anymore…gotta love teenagers.
Next in the lineup is my red-headed mini-me, Ireland. She was born when I was a junior in high school, and since this was the first niece I was going to have, and the first baby in the family after 10 years, I couldn’t wait. I bought so much pink stuff and so many bows. She lives in another state though, so I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like, but thanks to the wonders of social media, I get to keep up with her on a constant basis. My sister thinks we are so much alike that she usually mixes up our names. I love the time I do get to spend with her, and it’s amazing to see how much she has grown up – she is 4 going on 14.
Not even a year later, I found out I was expecting another niece. Miss Abigail joined the family my senior year of high school. I was excited to have another niece, but even more excited that Ireland and Abby would grow up together, being so close in age. I was lucky enough to have two cousins so close in age to me when I was growing up. Your cousins are your first best friends. I got to help raise Abby a lot before I moved away to college the following summer. We took a lot of naps, I fed her sweet treats (like every great aunt does), and watched her learn how to walk and talk. She is a little lady now with a fashion sense all her own.
Christmas time my senior year of high school, I found out another little gentleman would be joining the bunch. I was getting my second nephew. Teagan was born August 26th – the day I moved away to college. I gave him plenty of love though when I came home the next weekend. Now that he talks non-stop, I have phone conversations with him on a regular basis – it always amazes me how much of a little man he is already. It was nice to get another blonde in the family, too. I was starting to feel lonely.
Here I am, 15 years later, age 21, and I have so much extra love in my life thanks to my nieces and nephews. Every moment I get to spend with them, I cherish to no end. They light up my life. I do spoil them on occasion, but that’s what I’m supposed to do, right? I can’t wait to continue to watch them grow and watch the people they turn into. They all already have such personalities. I can’t wait for baby number five come October!