Everyone Needs an Aunt Ali

With the amazing story of my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and niece/goddaughter showing up everywhere on the web recently (originating on the Today Show's Mom's memory lives on in sweet dad, daughter photos and being featured as a wonderful segment here), I thought I'd re-share this tribute to her. I'm as proud of it as anything I've posted to TheLifeOfDad, as she told me it was her favorite column I'd ever written. (I tear up every time I reread it.) Thanks to Ben and Olivia for keeping her legacy of love alive.

My daughters are incredibly lucky because they have three amazing aunts. They have my wife's youngest sister, Aunt Melanie, who is a professional photographer and is constantly taking great pictures of our kids. They have my sister, Aunt Jennie, who is a social worker and can explain to the kids exactly how awesome I have always been—oh, I was pretty awesome at 7 years old "flying" around our house in a Greatest American Hero cape. (Wonder if they make those in adult sizes?) And they have my wife's middle sister, Aunt Ali, who is … well, Aunt Ali is lot of things.

Aunt Ali is fun.

Aunt Ali is funny.

Aunt Ali is forgetful and will leave her phone at your house, even when the reason for her visit was to pick up the purse she left there the night before.

Aunt Ali is the best at making cupcakes—especially ones that look like animals.

Aunt Ali is a lover of cotton candy, and will sneak your kids some assuming she hasn't eaten it all on her drive over.

Aunt Ali is a magnificent manicurist, sculpting your daughters' dirty kid nails into beautiful little girl nails. A layer of Aunt Ali's polish later—purple for Ella, blue for Anna—and both girls feel grown up … and special.

Aunt Ali is a hilarious commenter on Facebook, making you laugh even when calling you "Uncle Creepo" (see here).

Aunt Ali is silly.

Aunt Ali is a good cook—so much so that you will actually want to eat your vegetables.

Aunt Ali is a Michael Jackson fan and makes your kids want to learn to moonwalk just to impress her.

Aunt Ali is an excellent housekeeper, helping you time and time again after each kid is born. She asks for nothing in return, save maybe a few minutes of holding your baby—and a few sugary treats.

Aunt Ali is good at sharing and letting her sisters “shop” in her closet every time they are in dire need of something pink.

Aunt Ali is almost always wearing pink.

Aunt Ali is seriously almost always wearing pink.

Aunt Ali is—wait, I don't think you understand. Roughly 98% of her wardrobe is pink. The other 2% are clothes she borrowed from her sisters and never gave back.

Aunt Ali is nicknamed UB by your friends, which stands for "Ultra Babe."

Aunt Ali is a great finder of the best kids books (except for the time she found us the bathroom book The Gas We Pass, which I've only kind of forgiven her for).

Aunt Ali is an excellent reader, with the perfect arm-length-to-book ratio, allowing room for a couple of kids to cuddle on in.

Aunt Ali is a hell of a lot smarter than she often gets credit for.

Aunt Ali is a great bargain shopper and can find deals on anything. EDITOR NOTE: This does not mean she actually spends less money (which her hubby would prefer), only that she buys more things (like terrible bathroom books for your kids).

Aunt Ali is a wonderful mother. 

Aunt Ali is a fan of bows and headbands and will buy hundreds of thousands of them for your daughters. If you aren't careful, she'll buy one for you too, even if your name is "Dad."

Most important, Aunt Ali is, and always will be, an important part of our lives.

If you were lucky, you had an Aunt Ali growing up. If you are luckier, your kids will have one. She does nothing but put smiles on the faces of everyone she meets. Aunt Ali memories are the best of the best and remind you every day how much you should celebrate life and love the people around you—even if that means you have to moonwalk across the floor and hug them with sticky cotton candy fingers.

Aunt Ali is an amazing person. That's why we all love our Aunt Ali so much.

ORDER NOW (GREAT GIFT FOR DADS):
Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl
(A Dad's Survival Guide to Raising Daughters)

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