I am somebody's aunt. Two somebodies, in fact. Two extremely cute, blondie, chubby wee somebodies. One has only met me online or in utero; I've had the pleasure of a week's company and a first birthday party and a wedding with the other. The first was not even conceived when we left NZ for the big wide world; we come home to two brand new relationships.
My sister-in-law is the mother of these two wee cherubim. She's a wonderful mother; I admire her and her husband's parenting skills tremendously. They have been kind enough to say they'll open the spare bedroom to us when we first arrive back in Aotearoa, in exchange for babysitting services. We'll gladly provide these, but the idea of being in charge of keeping two little 'uns ALIVE all on our own practically gives P and I hives. At the moment, we share custody of a droopy wee poinsettia. It's survived 18 months of our neglect; better than the parsley plants and lavender we keep outside the dining room window. I think this is possibly our personal record of sustaining life other than our own (I deliberately do not count whatever is growing on the grouting in my shower. That survives DESPITE my best attempts to kill it DEAD).
Still, it gives me great pleasure to say that I'm an aunt, that I have the privilege of being involved with another generation of family. I think uncle-hood played no small role in P's evaluation of the merits of moving back to Auckland. These two small boys are going to be lumped with our ham-handed affection and will no doubt become ridiculously spoilt with the surfeit of attention (and noisy toys. P's sister and brother-in-law are going to hate us).
But, in the spirit of my naming woes past, I cannot stand the idea of being Aunt or Aunty A. It JUST sounds wrong. I think that has a lot to do with my maternal family: Mum can't bear being called Aunt and we have names of endearment for her sisters rather than calling them Aunt So-and-So (though I have, on occasion, reverted to referring to one simply as Auntie. I can't remember why; it must have been a joke).
Confusingly, my own name is very close to Nana, the boys' name for my mother-in-law. They can't simply call me A, then. P's family don't have a nickname for me (THAT I'M AWARE OF, that is…), so there's no simple answer there, either.
Maybe I'll just have to wait and see what name the boys choose for me. In the interim, all suggestions will be welcomed.
Jesus H I'm fond of dissecting relationships. That, and Google Translate.