Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

This mom says thank God for sisters and aunts

Family, Holidays

Today, I would like to say thanks to all the aunts: the sisters of moms and dads who lend a hand, pinch hit, take the kids where mothers fear to tread, and generally add so much to their nieces' and nephews' lives. Some of these ladies never get a Mother's Day card, tribute, or gift, yet they contribute a great deal to both their siblings and their sibling's children's lives.

When I was growing up, I was blessed to have my mother, father, and both sets of grandparents living. I also had a maiden aunt who still lived at home with my paternal grandparents. My sister and I had lots of fun staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house. When they died, this unmarried aunt stepped into the role of grandmother for her 16 nieces and nephews. Our weekends at grandma's changed to weekends with auntie.

Auntie would walk with us up to the Winkies dime store in Milwaukee to buy a treasure or two. On the way home, we would stop for lunch at a little coffee shop and she would let us play the JUKE BOX! Now that was a treat. (Mom and Dad wouldn't let us do that, but auntie did.) I think one of our favorite songs was The Battle of New Orleans. Remember it? It goes,  In 1814 we took a little trip, Down with Colonel Jackson on the mighty Mississip...

Auntie would also let us go through her jewelry box and bedeck ourselves to our hearts content. Sometimes we tried out her lipstick and nail polish too. If we came home with it still on, my dad never was too happy about that, but we were!  We had a lot of fun over the years; I remember our times together fondly. She is now in her mid 80s and still spoils her nieces, nephews, and all generations since, when she can.

I lost my mother the year before my son was born, so he came into the world grandmother-less. But because I have a sister, he was still able to enjoy weekends away from time to time too. Shopping trips to Winkies in Whitefish Bay frequently were on their to do list. They created their own little ritual for their weekends together. He is grown up now. These days, the to do list might include him fixing her faucet, help her buy a car, or some other manly task.

I am also thankful for my aunts who had families of their own. My mom's cousin, who is also my aunt, lives just down the street from us. She really helped fill that role of grandmother for our son, and she also provides a connection to my mom for me. I enjoy hearing her talk about the days when she and my mom were young or about things I was too young to remember.

Today is Mother's Day, and certainly we should honor them on their special day. But there are other women in our lives and children's lives who could use a thank you too. I am not trying to create another Hallmark holiday here, but just to say, if you are fortunate enough to have someone special in your life or your child's life, let them know you appreciate them. 

As the Bible says in Philippians 1:3, I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. When I think of these special ladies, I thank God for putting them in my life.


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Brookfield7, Fairly Conservative, BetterBrookfield, Vicki McKenna, Jay Weber, The Right View Wisconsin, Randy Melchert, Mark Levin, The Heritage Foundation, CNS News

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