I saw a wonderful quote the other day that said, “If nephews and nieces were jewels, I would have the most beautiful gems ever.” It got me thinking about how those jewels aren’t just beautiful, but the very gems we need to make our family feel whole and complete. Keep reading to find out exactly what I mean.
Nieces and Nephews Are the Jewels That Complete Our Family
When I saw that quote, I immediately pictured one of those family birthstone bracelets. As lovely as they are with just one or two stones, they still feel a little empty. Like they’re missing one special piece that completes them. Turns out, what they’re missing are nieces and nephews! Once they become part of your life, you realize that they really are the gems that complete your family.
What do nieces & nephews mean to aunts & uncles?
On the day we become parents, we can’t imagine ever feeling the depth of love for another human being that we feel for that brand-new baby. It an indescribable sensation, to know that there’s at least one being in the world that matters more than all the rest. How could we possibly feel that deeply about anyone else?
“When your mom placed you in my arms after your birth, little did I know that she was placing you directly in my heart.”- Unknown
Then, our nieces and nephews arrive. It’s shocking, at first, to feel your heart burst open so wide for someone that you didn’t even get to hold first. To realize that you’d go to the ends of the earth for this little person the same way you would for your own. As the quote above says, when our siblings place that sparklingly sweet newborn into our arms, our heart swoops them up and tucks them away.
Poetic waxing aside, though, what do nieces and nephews really bring to aunts & uncles? I can think of a few wonderful benefits off the top of my head!
Nephews and nieces are 100% pure joy
Let’s be honest, as much as we love our kids with every last ounce of our being, sometimes they’re not exactly little bringers of joy. No parent seriously thinks, “Wow, this tantrum is just making my heart explode with love!” or “Yay! Another sleepless night! Sleep deprivation is amazing!” Parenting is complicated, full of ups and down.
With nieces and nephews, we get the purely upside of parenting. The laughter, joy, pride, and wonder. When they start to get cranky, tired, or a little stinky, we give them back to mom or dad! Kidding! Sort of. Sure, we aunts & uncles do help out when things get a little stinky or messy (both literally and figuratively), but our siblings handle the truly tough parts of parenting our nieces & nephews.
They give our inner child a chance to come out and play
While the same could sort of be said for our own children, it goes double for nieces and nephews. Remember, your siblings are doing all the chores and “work” part of parenting. For once, you’re not worrying about making dinner, folding that mountain of laundry, or paying bills. You’re free to just stay down on the floor and keep playing! Bonus- your siblings are actually grateful that you’re keeping their kids occupied. At what other point in your life will someone be glad that you chose playing over working?
Nieces & nephews make the best friends for our kids
Cousins are ready-made friends for life for our kids, plain and simple. It doesn’t even matter if they’re the same age. In fact, sometimes it’s even better when they’re a few years apart. Older cousins look after younger ones, teach them the “family ropes” so to speak. For those with only children, nieces and nephews provide some reassurance because you know that your kids will never be alone when you’re gone.
They give us unique insight to our own children
Nieces and nephews tell aunts and uncles things that they wouldn’t often tell their parents. From the little things, like “Don’t tell mom, but I broke her favorite vase” to the monumental secrets, like “Don’t tell my mom, but I am thinking of going all the way with Tommy.” When you are on the receiving end of those secrets, it gives you a better idea of the things your own kids aren’t saying to you.
Nephews & nieces fill a void in our lives
For aunts & uncles who can’t have kids of their own (or simply prefer not to), nieces and nephews really are the jewels that complete them. You love them as much as you would your own kids because you watch them grow from these tiny little beings into amazing adults. Nothing can completely erase the pain of wanting kids but not being able to have them. Nieces and nephews, though, are like a balm that soothes it.
Bottom line, nephews & nieces are so important. They’re almost like own kids because we see them grow up and we love them so much. They brighten up every family event and remind us of all the things we’ve always loved about our brothers and sisters. They truly are the gems that complete our family.