"A teeny tiny bean shaped thing, has so much love already, from all directions."
Melangell promised to be the best auntie ever. Six years later she looks back on her relationship with her nephew and how it has changed her life.
Melangell is an actress, voice-over artist and aspiring writer based in Cardiff. She works in Theatre, TV and Radio in both Welsh and English.
My sister rang me just before Christmas. I’d dyed my hair platinum blonde for the first time that morning, so I rambled on “I’ve dyed my hair blonde and it’s all quite exciting,” and she said “Oh, well I’ve got a bit of news for you too…” and then she said “I’m pregnant!”. And I just thought, well that makes my news a bit insignificant doesn’t it?
It was the best thing anybody has ever told me, I think. I cried over the phone. I think my first words were “Oh my God, that’s amaaaaazing!”
And it is amazing.
I think it’s incredible, that she and her boyfriend - who live together, grow vegetables, keep chickens and bees and make honey, together - have decided that they also want to have a child together. That is just the most beautiful thing that you could do, to decide that together you’re going to start a family.
I think it’s incredible that this child is only 15 weeks old, a teeny tiny little bean shaped thing in her belly, not even born yet, and there is so much love for this child already, from all directions. It’s just something, well… amazing.
So basically, in July my sister is going to have a baby. She’s going to be such a wonderful mother. My mum is going to be a grandmother. I’m going to have to start calling her “Nain”.
And I’m going to be an aunty. I’m going to be the best aunty the world has ever seen.
That was a piece I wrote almost exactly six year ago, for a sight-reading class at drama school. Our only instruction had been to write about something we felt passionate about, for it to be about 3 minutes long, and for it to come straight from our heart.
And now, six years later, given similar guidelines, I felt drawn again to the same topic. But now, that teeny tiny little bean is Elis, a wonderful five and a half year old boy, full of joy and mischief and curiosity. We have lengthy conversations on the phone, he’s been down on his own to stay with me in Cardiff for two nights, and he’s always asking when he can come again. And now, he’s also a big brother. Idris, his nine month old brother, is starting to crawl and all you have to do is look at him and his face illuminates with a smile, his nose scrunching up and his eyes ablaze. These two little boys have filled my world with love and laughter. I have the privilege of watching them grow and learn and of being a part of their lives. Recently, when I was back at home working for a while, I would call in at my sister’s house every afternoon after work and without fail I would be greeted by Elis jumping up and down, doing a little dance and exclaiming “Yay! It’s Melangell!”. That has to be the best homecoming I’ve ever received.
Families are complicated. It isn’t guaranteed that we’ll get along with the people we’re related to. I don’t know if I’ve succeeded in being “the best aunty the world has ever seen”, but one thing I know is that I treasure my relationship with my nephews beyond what I can express in words. I love them. And they love me. And they trust me. And that is something I will always be proud of.