Everyone should have a fun aunt. The kind of aunt who lets you eat ice cream for breakfast because, hey, hasn’t everyone wanted to eat ice cream for breakfast at some point? The kind of aunt who lives on the beach and zips around town in a cool car and knows exactly what to say to soothe your adolescent angst. The kind of aunt who knew it was cool to work out before Jane Fonda made it fashionable. The kind of aunt who never forgets your birthday and teaches you that fitting in is highly overrated.
Everyone should have a cool aunt. The kind of aunt who has Sippie Wallace and Katy Perry on their playlist. The kind of aunt who lets you sneak a swear word into the conversation from time to time. The kind of aunt who says, “I’ve been where you are” but waits to be asked for advice. The aunt that picks you up at the bus stop and scares off the eighth grade bully just by pulling down her sunglasses and saying, “Don’t you have somewhere to be?”
Everyone should have a crazy aunt. Your crazy aunt may show up to your school play wearing a tutu and aviator goggles, but she’ll always show up. Your crazy aunt should tell you elaborate bed time stories that are entirely up but which she insists are true. Your crazy aunt will tell you it’s okay to ditch class to go the movies once in a while and she also believes in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus because she’s met them. Your crazy aunt always has bubblegum in her purse and sometimes turns a corner a wee bit fast just in case she’s being followed.
I’ve been lucky enough to have all three of these aunts. They have all since passed away, but I try to pick up the mantle when I can for my own extended family. Whether you are the fun aunt, the cool aunt, or the crazy aunt, remember that your influence will be felt and remembered decades after you are gone. And I still totally believe in Santa Claus.