..which I have had particular cause to do this week. On Wednesday last, at 9:30 p.m., my niece gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, and I became a great-aunt.
When I announced this to friends, sundry of them responded with, “Well, you’ve always been a great aunt!” Immodest as it may be of me to say so, I think I’m doing not too shabbily in the aunting department. I may, in fact, be a great aunt, although it’s not really for me to say.
Add the hyphen, though, and I can definitely claim great-aunthood. Those who know me know I’m not really a kid person, so I find myself rather unexpectedly excited about this little guy. Maybe it’s just the whole generational thing – becoming as close as I’m ever going to get to being a grandma.
Or maybe it’s just that now I have a really simple, clear demonstration of the importance of the hyphen. Without the hyphen, I am a sterling example of all aunthood should be. With it, I am my sister’s grandchild’s aunt – or possibly aunt-once-removed. And if you put them both together, well, then I’m a spectacular great-aunt, a GREAT great-aunt. Something to which to aspire.
However you write it, I’m very happy about the whole thing, and looking forward to meeting my great-nephew. My great great-nephew.