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To All the Second Moms Who Help Us Survive

For the last few days my sister has arrived on my doorstep at 9 a.m. to take my 3-year-old to swim lessons. I signed him up for eight days of intensive lessons with hope that we could just dive right in and get him comfortable with the water fast. It was a good idea in theory, but logistically, kind of a nightmare.

Enter Super Aunt.

Could I have taken my son to swim lesson myself? Yes, absolutely, obviously. But, doing so would have entailed bringing along a baby during morning nap time and my oldest as well. That, combined with my middle son’s Olympic-level leg clinging when we try to transition from me to his swim teacher would have caused quite the scene. I know, because it has happened before. More than once.

So, my sister saved the day. Once again.

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It seems to be her theme these days. I, overwhelmed and tired beyond belief trudge on through each 24 shift of my life and she appears at my most desperate hour. Sometimes with dinner in hand, sometimes to babysit while I visit Target alone (hallelujah!), sometimes just to hold my baby and entertain the bigs while I flip laundry and load the dishwasher without interruption.

Some might call her an angel. Others Wonder Woman. To me, she’s everything. And has been for quite some time.

She saves me emotionally, mentally, and physically. And yes, I know I’m super lucky. Trust, you don’t have to tell me twice that an involved aunt is God’s greatest gift to a family. She has energy and smarts and a love for my kids that is only surpassed by mine. No doubt, she is their second mother.

Nothing will ever, ever, ever explain to you what a gift you are to me and to my children. You. Are. Amazing.

My sister, Kiki, is three years younger than me and is a qualified PANK—professional aunt, no kids. She isn’t married yet and has no pets. She works full-time and owns her own home. Her time obligations outside of work are few. And she's a teacher and has the whole summer off, which is when she turns into super aunt.

This summer alone she has hosted multiple sleepovers with my older two, taken my son for his haircuts, assembled two pieces of new furniture, run post office and grocery errands on my behalf, built an obstacle course in the backyard, researched my failing hard drive and fixed it, accompanied me on weekly outings and turned my kids into Pokemon Go lovers.

The week that my daughter was at summer camp, she took my son out every morning on an adventure of his own. He was devastated to be left out of the camp fun, but she turned that frown upside down fast with what she called “Kiki Kamp.” You guys, she planned and executed a one-on-one summer camp! I’m still amazed at her ambition!

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Basically, if there was a PANK pageant, she would win. Hands down.

10 for energy.

10 for creativity.

10 for thoughtfulness.

10 for maintaining a frazzled mom’s sanity.

Dear sister of mine, a trophy doesn’t cut it and neither does a spa day or the best thing I could find for you at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. Nothing will ever, ever, ever explain to you what a gift you are to me and to my children. You. Are. Amazing. You fulfill your role of aunt with ease and excitement and you take your aunthood up a notch to bonafide second mom status. There is no doubt in my mind that you could step into my shoes and succeed. You’re that good!

Someday,you'll be a mom and I only hope I can be half the aunt you are. I’ll never be able to convey to you what a blessing you are to me. Hopefully my words can be the tip of an iceberg of a thousand thank yous. Thank you for being the perfect PANK for us!

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Photograph by: Gretchen Bossio

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