School Substitute and Savvy Auntie

I haven’t been in a classroom for years and I’m not around little kids often—so it was fun going back to school the other day. I was there as a substitute—only not for the teacher.   I was there as something else I’m not—a grandparent.

Until I moved to the Monterey Peninsula I never heard of a school that held Grandparents’ Day. Maybe this goes along with small town life—where many grandparents actually live in the vicinity of their grandchildren—and not across the city, the state, the country or the globe.

I let my own kids play hookey on Grandparent’s Day so they wouldn’t be reminded that they didn’t have grandparents nearby, or any grandparents at all.  Marcus’ parents had a better idea—his own grandma was out of town so they invited me to substitute.

And this school visit was an example of their roles women play in the lives of their godchildren, nieces and nephews or family friends.

No one knows more about  this than Melanie Notkin, author of a new book, The Savvy Auntie. Melanie is the founder of  Savvy Auntie, an amazing website and a movement—the first community for cool aunts, great aunts, godmothers, and all women who love kids.

Considering that approximately half of American women don’t have their own children, Melanie invented the term PANK (professional aunts, no kids) and plays a part in expanding our appreciation of the value and importance of savvy aunties in all of our lives.  (Scroll down for information on winning a copy of her book)

Savvy auntie-dom is a win-win for everyone,  as it was for me and Marcus.  Fortunately we have a lot in common.

My visit was a great deal on both sides.   I got a reprieve from Grandma Envy and a rehearsal for the time (probably many years from now, but who’s counting?) when I become a grandma myself.

He got someone to fuss over him and be part of the kinderrazzi.

The project we made together was a gift—and a reminder of the most precious gifts—the treasures of time and the people we love.

As a gift for a Savvy Auntie in your life, you can win a copy of The Savvy Auntie book.  Just leave a comment below;  Winner will be chosen by random selection and notified by May 1.


  1. My sister-in-law is a PANK. Thanks for the gift idea.

  2. My sons’ elementary school had Grandparents Day, but since their grandparents were across the country, we also invited friends instead.

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