The influence of an aunt

I realized something recently that I really should have realized years ago – I have always had a role model of a child-free woman right here in my own family!

My Aunt Linda, my mom’s sister and the woman I was named after, was child-free.

I’m not sure how I missed this until now…other than the fact that our situations are quite different.

While I’m child-free by choice, my aunt was child-free by chance. And thanks to my Uncle Skip, she had a six-pack of stepdaughters.

Left to right: my mom, Sandy, and my youngest brother, J.L, with my Aunt Linda in Nashville in the late ’90s.

So any impact on my decision to not have children would have been subconscious. We never discussed it; in fact, I don’t know the exact medical reasons for why she couldn’t have children.

I’m sharing this today on what would have been my aunt’s 71st birthday. She passed away in 2009.

Here’s the real influence my aunt had on me: she was an awesome aunt who I loved spending time with and I wanted to be the same for my nieces and nephews.

My three brothers were a lot older than I was so I became an aunt at the age of 10. My brothers had a free babysitter and I did my best to spoil their kids and be the fun aunt who was pretty much still a kid herself. It was a little harder when I moved to Kansas in 1994 and when I got older and my nieces and nephews got older and more involved with their own activities.

We have a niece and nephew on Lee’s side of the family and have enjoyed having them come stay with us for a week or so each summer the past few years. I know that will soon change as we’re not so young and cool anymore!

I’ll write more about my choice to be child-free but for today’s post, I wanted to honor my Aunt Linda. Thanks for being a role model – for what an aunt could be and for making meaningful contributions to other generations without birthing children.

Aunt Linda with my oldest brother, Roy, and middle brother, Doug, in 1959.

This entry was posted in Family.

One Comment

  1. Shirley Calvin March 19, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Wow…We all were so skinny back then….Aunt Linda was special and my kids loved her…. You wrote a wonderful piece on her.

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  1. […] it’s too late for me and my mom or me and my Aunt Linda, but it’s not too late for me to talk to my dad and stepdad (my mom remarried when I was in […]

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