Parenting is no joke. I may not know everything about parenting, but I have been around plenty of families to see the hard work it takes to raise a family. Just as they say: “it takes a village to raise a child,” and boy, they are not wrong. This village can be comprised of many people and a lot of times you’d wish it came from your extended family. But, that’s not the case for everyone. Unfortunately, not everyone has the luxury of the large family dynamic. That’s when something almost magical happens and the Tía or the Auntie shows up, mostly unannounced, and squeezes herself into your family. I promise you, once she’s infiltrated herself, her significance to your family will become unmatched.
The Tía is that woman who, without any of the family realizing it, becomes an integral part of the family dynamic. She is the one who is there picking up the kids after school if the parents couldn’t make it on time, the one babysitting late nights, and the one who can take them to the arcade so that she can get cool Tía points. This person not only becomes part of your family, she can even become part of your mental sanity. This is something that is confirmed by Laura Richards, a writer who submitted a piece for the New York Times.
“That longing for someone fully invested, who would be there to share our lives, especially the lives of our kids, was always tugging at my heart,” Laura Richards wrote.
Tías oftentimes bring a breath fresh air to those families who don’t have the option of relying on their extended family. Sadly, there’s a vast population who are born into families that are so small, yet they yearn for the warmth a solid support system can provide.
It’s completely normal to want meaningful interaction with other people, we are social beings after all. However, the loneliness felt, especially in a small family, is an unfortunate reality that is not too uncommon. It’s particularly true for those who emigrate from their native countries in search of their own version of the American dream. Luckily, Aunties have been known to fill this void. It’s not to say that a large family is needed for a family to be successful, but having someone provide extra support with your children and family should not be underestimated. Besides, the best part about Aunties or Tías is that they don’t even have to be related to you. A Tía can be someone who was your friend, but then they became your family as well. I’ll tell you this, that type of bond is sometimes stronger than anyone might have ever imagined.
“They say that friends are the family you choose, and that is true. She would become the sister I never had and an honorary relative to my children. My boys know her simply as “Auntie” and she has been a witness to moments big and small within our family,” Laura recounted of the Auntie in her family’s life.
Laura had found her Auntie. This was the Auntie her family didn’t know they all needed. She helped them in every way she possibly could as she helped her. While they were building their friendship, they realized they had a lot of things in common. They both had children with special needs and were very religious. This created the common ground that was needed to fortify a friendship that had the potenTíal of becoming extremely important — and it did.
I can attest to the significance of an Auntie because I am an Auntie myself. Even though I don’t have children of my own yet (but I can’t wait to have my own), I wholeheartedly understand how much support a family needs. I saw my own mother struggle many times due to not having enough support, so I’ve made sure this doesn’t happen to the people around me. Gratefully, I’ve been blessed with many friends who have children.
In a very Tía manner, I have rearranged my schedule just to pick them up, I’ve looked over their homework, and I’ve been there for their parents when they’ve just needed to talk. I’ve even attempted at reading Harry Potter as their bedtime story, but I wasn’t met with a lot of enthusiasm. This broke my heart, but I’ll try again in a few years.
As you can tell, Tías are a crucial player for families. They really do have your back unlike anyone else. Trust me, I will fight anyone who wrongs the families who have accepted me as their Tía. So, tell me, do you have a Tía in your family or are you La Tía?