Waning affections

My 13-year-old niece thinks I’m pretty cool. In fact, she’s gone as far as to give me the nick name “Aunt Awesome.” She looks up to me; she idolizes me; she wants to be like me when she grows up. It’s pretty cool, really.

But that reverence and affection can change in an instant.

You see, she’s come to my neck of the woods to attend a residential academic summer camp for “highly capable students” at the university where I work. For a week, she will live in a dorm and attend classes taught by the school’s research professors. This is the first time she’s attended an overnight camp without a companion. This is her first time really getting out on her own.

So, we arrive on campus and get the kid checked in. Then I take her to her room and her roommate is already there with her parents. (This is her roommate’s second year, so there’s someone to teach her to ropes.)

I asked if she wanted help unpacking. No.

I asked if she wanted me to stick around for the opening ceremonies. No.

I asked if she wanted me to leave. Yes. (Without a hug, please.)

I went from “Aunt Awesome” to “Aunt Please Don’t Address Me in Public” in less than five minutes. And now I know how my parents must have felt over and over and over again.

I’m sure the brat will love me again once I pick her up on Friday and we are an acceptable distance from her new friends’ view.

Thankfully, her 11-year-old brother, who is staying with me whilst attending a day camp this week, still thinks I’m cool. Of course, that may change when I drop him off at camp tomorrow morning…

4 Replies to “Waning affections”

  1. …lest anyone think Frances is exaggerating about the 13 year and her idolization… it’s true. Every word of it. (I am the mother of the girl child. I would know. 😉 )

  2. Even the boy was glad to see me go when I dropped him off. At least I know that the cat will be pleased to see me when I get home from work. Well, at least I hope so.
    Totally ego crushing… 😉

  3. Youth can be so cruel. Were we really that bad? I fear so!
    I can still remember, at actually quite a young age, shaking my hand out of my Mum’s when she reached for it in public and also a very similar experience to yours this week, Frances, of being dropped off and just wanting ‘The Olds’ to disappear!
    But she’ll always idolize you though! That’s the beauty of being Auntie rather than Mom!

    1. I guess that is the good thing. Because I don’t do discipline and stuff, I’m not a big meanie like her Mom is. I’m looking forward to being cool again though. It must have been so hard for my folks to have six daughters reject them over the years! (But we’re happy to be seen in public with them now, which maybe makes up for it.)
      And, hey! You were my lucky ‘100th’ comment on Just Frances! You’d think that would get you a great gift like a voucher for a relaxing and luxurious cruise around the world, but it doesn’t. Bummer.

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