After the announcement of her sister’s pregnancy, 32-year-old Jillian Sanchez confirmed she was leaving her previous role of “lame sister” to assume the post of “cool aunt.”
The features that were once considered achingly sad and dull by her friends and family have given way to an appreciation for this interesting aunt, who friends describe as “quirky.”
“This could be my niche,” says the aunt-to-be, as she knits another pair of underwear. “My family used to look down on my hobbies, but now that my sister’s pregnant, everything’s different.” She adds, “I just can’t wait to wow that kid with my cool stuff.”
The pregnancy announcement has brought waves of relief for Jillian’s family. “My husband and I have been trying for a baby ever since Jill’s first trip to the Serengeti,” says Jillian’s sister, Lisa Johnson. “She used to be a sad recluse who hoarded stuff from museum gift shops. But now, she’s a mystical woman with a huge collection of amazing artifacts.”
“We used to worry about her in that yurt, all alone, unless you count the cats she made out of papier-mâché,” says Jillian’s mother, Better. “But now that she’ll be an aunt, I know that she’ll always have her vacation pictures to keep her company.”
“I feel like I’ve really found my calling,” says Jillian.
Jillian currently resides in a quiet hamlet two hours west of her sister, who lives in Boston. “Jill’s lived here for almost a decade and not once have I seen her wear anything but billowy wool skirts,” says Jillian’s neighbor, Anita. “But a little niece or nephew would find those skirts to be very festive. She’s totally in her element.”
“I want my niece or nephew to have an aunt that inspires them,” says Jillian. “Also, an aunt who’s not afraid to slip them a little bit of wine.”
These days, Jillian spends her time preparing for the birth by doing everything precisely the way she had before her sister’s pregnancy. Raking patterns in her Japanese rock garden, firing lumpy coffee mugs in her home kiln, adding to her pug figurine collection, and planning out her cruise schedule for the year.
“I used to be so embarrassed of my sister,” says Lisa. “But now I see: She’s not lame, she’s maternal-adjacent.”
“I was skeptical at first,” says Jillian’s brother-in-law, Guy, “But then I realized that every child needs a quirky older woman in their life whose favorite ice cream is space ice cream. Jill will be perfect for that.”
“With my baby on the way, I see Jill in a totally new light. It’s like she’s exactly the same, but different,” says Jillian’s sister. “I think we’re all gonna like this new Jillian: Cool Aunt Jillian.”