As Mother’s Day, then Father’s Day , will soon be upon us, I’ve been thinking it’s really a shame no one has come up with Aunt’s and Uncle’s Day. Seriously, am sure someone at Hallmark could’ve come up with some groovy ( yes, I still drag that out from time to time)cards in praise of aunties and uncles.So surprising that money making category hasn’t been tapped.
Waiting for me I guess! Walking out of Whole Foods this afternoon I caught sight of the card rack overflowing with great looking Mother’s Day cards. After thinking how beautiful the ones I spied were , for some reason I started thinking about a few of my friends , two in particular, who have never had children of their own. One, Francoise, has several step children that she has helped raise since they were young, and the other , my friend, Helen, has no step kids, just nieces , nephews, God- children, a hundred dogs she’s rescued…plus my two girls.
Did I forget to mention Francoise has many God- children as well. She also has kids running around LA, Paris, and New York claiming to be her God- children. Many times over my last 25 child raising years, as nasty as this sounds, I have thanked God that both of these women didn’t have their own kids to be consumed by or I would, as the expression goes, be shit out of luck.
Both of them have been there to answer my calls, hysterical and worried, pissed off and proud, they have been there. Both have relationships with my daughters that they wouldn’t , couldn’t, have if they had their hands full with their own brood. And both of my girls know , and have known all along, that in a pinch Coise and Helen are just a phone call away. The icing on this auntie cake is that both of these women are way, waaaay cooler than I’ll ever be . Francois , French, gorgeous, in Dolce and Gabana with spiked heels is like Auntie Mame wishes she could have been. Helen, tall, BoHo and beautiful, saves all the dogs she comes across and delights in sharing her rock and roll exploits with my younger daughter.
And wait, lest I forget Auntie Cynthia, my sister from another mother. Whoa she put the C in character alright. She does have her own kids, two boys , which allows her to be on the job with my girls. Her boys have grown up thinking that the way to fly first class isn’t to spend a fortune for a first class ticket, but rather to charm one’s way into an upgrade. My youngest daughter’s favorite reenactment of her Auntie Cynthia, who has extreme fear of flying( which, thank God for liquor service on planes , has never held her back ) is the time she was on a flight that hit turbulence. Cynthia, heart pounding, sweat beginning to form at her temples, politely turned to the gentleman seated next to her and said, “Excuse me , but would you mind if I held on to you , I’m terrified of this turbulence.” The man , being a total stiff, replied “Well yes I actually do mind,” just as the plane took a big dip and Cynthia screamed “well too bad “and flung herself on the guy grabbing on to him for dear life!
My own two siblings in New York City are amazing aunts. One provided my older daughter with a second home during the four years she went to college back east and the other one sends the birthday cards that arrive on time and never forgets to call on special occasions.
So this is me proposing Aunt and Uncle Day. Make it any day you want, but who’s ever in your kids corner , let them know how much it means and how grateful you are. Not only do we know it takes a village, which is pretty damn impossible, but a great aunt or uncle, whether by blood or in name only, is a true blessing.
Speaking of blessings, I consider anything or anyone who makes me laugh until my sides ache a big blessing. Especially these days when each time I pick up a newspaper I read something that makes me sad. My friend Jessica Harper’s blog comes under that category. You might remember Jessica from the movie My Favorite Year in which she played the female lead with the amazing Peter O’Toole. Jessica acts, sings , writes children’s books, has a fun cookbook out called the Crabby Cook and has the coolest blog called Jessica’s Blah Blah Blog which is my personal go to place for a good laugh. Treat yourself to a chuckle fest.Check out her piece on going grey in LA.
www.jessicaharper.com Grey Haired Survey
( by next week I’ll know how to direct link these things…hang in there with me, please, I am nothing if not a work in progress!)