Remona Aly
Monday 01 October 2018 Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2

Confessions of an obsessed aunt

Confessions of an obsessed aunt
Pause for Thought, BBC Radio 2, Chris Evans Breakfast Show


A few months ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby nephew. Like my twin nieces before him, he is the love of my life. And of course, I act like he’s mine. “He’s not even five months and he can turn on his side!”- I’d say to disinterested folk. “Yeah he giggles and gurgles all the time, the dribble-meister. Isn’t he adorable?”

I saw a viral video the other day – it was a comic take on a new aunt who is obsessed with her sister’s baby. She shows bored colleagues baby photos and kisses her mobile screensaver of her niece, whispering ‘I love you’. I watched this video with incredulity thinking, she is one bat crazy woman! And then I realised, it was me.

It’s true I’ve always been a bit too broody, but alas, as a singleton, I can only savour the joy of little booboos that are not my own. Although I do like a full night’s sleep, I say to all the parents of the world – you have no idea how I yearn to be one myself.

It’s all too easy to sigh after what you don’t have. I’ve seen friends crave the job they don’t get, cry over the fantasy husband or wife they can’t find, or long for the life they are not leading.

The grass might be greener on the other side, but wasting my time chasing dreams means I neglect the real wonder of the life I hold in my own hands right now. Instead of yearning to be a mum, I can glory in being a doting aunt. Instead of wishing I had the perfect hubby tomorrow, I’ll revel in the beautiful friendships I have today.

The richest of souls is one that is content with what it has, goes an Islamic saying, and I will enjoy the riches that are within my grasp, my soul, my self.

Just as the Persian Muslim poet, Sanai writes, “Why worry about the stars when you are your sky. The world is full of obvious things. But you – you are a hidden treasure. Remember with joy, you are your world.”

So I won’t look out there to what I don’t have, I’ll count the blessings, live life, grow wings, as I’m the only one who can clip them or give them flight.