In big families, the younger children have the potential to become aunts and uncles at an early age. This can happen in families where there are a number of years between the children too. Sometimes, in fact, children can be born as aunts and uncles, which I suppose could be even more strange to think about. My younger sisters were were already old hands at being aunts at the time my girls were born, as my older sister had 3 children by that time. My youngest sister, Allyn became an aunt when she was the ripe old age of 8 years, in 1971, and so had been an aunt for 4 years by the time Corrie was born in 1975.
My in-laws basically had 3 separate families, since there were 7 years between Bob and his sister Jennifer, and another 5 between his youngest sister, Brenda and his brother, Ron. Ron was a whopping 7 years old when he first became and uncle. And my daughter, Amy’s youngest brother-in-law was 3 when he became uncle to her daughter, Shai. These kids grew up almost more like cousins or brothers and sisters than uncles to their nieces.They pretty much don’t remember a time where they weren’t uncles.
My father-in-law’s sister Marian had 8 children, and her youngest son is younger than his nephew, her daughter Kathy’s son. I’m sure that would be odd to think about, if it weren’t just the way it was. I suppose when you are born an uncle or aunt, it never occurs to you that you might be a bit different from your friends, who like my daughters became aunts when they were both married adults.
I’m quite certain that most people just think, “Well, that is the way it is.” And they would be right. You can’t control when you become an aunt or uncle. That is simply not your choice to make. And to most people it is an exciting and joyful time in their lives. But, that is not always the case. Bob’s Aunt Linda was quite a bit younger than my mother-in-law. Fifteen years, in fact. And my mother-in-law would marry my father-in-law just 2 1/2 years after Linda was born. When my sister-in-law, Marlyce came along 13 months after their marriage, Linda was just 3 1/2 years old. She was just getting to an age where she knew what she wanted and what she did not want. When they came to Linda and told her that she was an aunt, Linda immediately started crying. They were shocked by such a reaction, and when they asked her what was wrong, she said, through her tears, “I don’t want to be one of those ant guys!!!” Poor little thing thought she was going to turn into a bug!