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At Last

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Looking back, I realize now how lucky I was to have had several strong and wonderful female influences in my life. My mom, of course, and a grandmother with whom I am especially close. I also had not one but two tantes. What image is conjured up by this antiquated, foreign word for ‘aunt’? Is she squat and rotund? Long grey hair in a bun? Funny Yiddish accent? My tantes were none of those things, though come to think of it, one did have shiny, silver hair and the other wore her long honey-coloured tresses in a bun.

My tantes were like my fairy godmothers. They lived in the city (Los Angeles) and loved me just for being me.

My mother and grandmother loved me for being me too…but it just isn’t the same. Mothers and grandmothers are responsible for loving and disciplining. Tantes are just for loving. As a child, we need both but yearn for only the loving.

On July 30, my lifelong dream of being a tante was fulfilled. Syl was safely delivered (albeit 3 weeks early!) of a healthy and very beautiful daughter — to be known hereafter as Sunflower.

Sunflower is not my first niece. PC’s sister has the honour of presenting me with the child who first made me an aunt and I cherish that little girl very much.

And yet…

I am not certain I would agree with Shakespeare when he wrote “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I love being an aunt. However, I have never felt any attachment to the name ‘aunt.’ Perhaps it is because we did not use that term in my family. The term ‘tante’ is imbued with all sorts of warm, fuzzy feelings.

Now I am the tante. Tante Frume Sarah. I like the sound of that!

And in approximately 55 hours, Tante Frume Sarah will meet little Sunflower for the first time.

And she can hardly wait…

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Friday, 24 August 2007 12:32 pm

    I can completely relate to wanting to be an aunt – you can ask my parents, for some reason – even when I was little I wanted a sibling just based on the hope that one day they would have kids so I could be an aunt. There is something lovely about being able to spend time and completely love a niece or nephew – and simply return them to their parents when you’re done. Since Maria’s family has joined us – I found out she hinted to my new step-cousin to call me Aunty Jessie – which I very much enjoy even though she’s my cousin and not my niece. It’s still really cool for me, as a person who grew up as an only child and the youngest in her family and of her friends – to have someone who comes and visits and is younger than me. (And whom I can chat with about Harry Potter!) Although since my stepsister married as well, her husband has two kids – and they are technically my step-nieces, sadly I hardly ever see them as they are either up north or with their mother a good percentage of the time. I do hope that in the future I can spend more time with them and will be known as Aunty Jessie. 🙂
    Congrats on becoming a tante!

  2. Sunday, 26 August 2007 1:45 pm

    Mazal Tov! Being an aunt is great!

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