When people ask me what has been one of my greatest experiences I always answer with: being an aunt. There’s nothing quite like it. I have been around with my nieces and nephews ever since they were born. I’ve seen them grow over the years, and they have allowed me to peek into their minds many times. They are bright, outgoing, natural charmers and extraordinary people. I don’t just say this because I’m their aunt but because I’ve seen a side of them that others haven’t.

Over the years I came to realize that they are a lot like me when I was little. I wanted to be heard, I wanted to be treated like an equal and that is exactly what they want. One of the best things that has helped my nieces, nephews and I is the “Feedback Sessions” we have every now and then. I sit down with them and we talk, I talk to them like if they were my friends. I ask what I expect of them and they in return tell me if there is anything that they would like for me to change. They helped me learn to be VERY patient, and helped me be a better listener. They taught me many things over the years. Things I never thought little kids would ever teach me. They are an inspiration to me, they make me want to be a better person in every aspect of my life. To me they are not just my nieces and nephews, they are my little brothers and sisters, and best friends.

I know I’m not perfect, I’m only human and I’ve made many mistakes in my life. I know that there are times when I can’t be the easiest person to get along with and I know there are many things I havent done right. But at the end of it all, I know I have made someone smile, I know I have made some kind of difference in this world. You know how? When they present me to their friends and teachers. When they talk about their aunt aka “Big Sister” and even when they say that they would like to be like me when they grow up. I’ll tell you something else too, they sure know how to warm my heart even through the coldest of times.

Smile, you never know when someone might be looking up to you.

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