Aunts and uncles: beloved or underappreciated?

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HOUSTON -- Amy McGee is one of the top-selling realtors in Houston. But she says that's not her most important job.

"Being an aunt is the most important role I have on this planet. The moment I saw my niece for the first time and then my nephew, my life changed completely. They're the center of my universe. I knew how much God loved all people the first time I laid my eyes on my niece," she said.

And that kind of love is why we celebrate National Aunt and Uncle's Day on July 26. They're the ones who are there to help raise the kiddos, but sometimes don't get the credit they deserve.

"Sometimes two parents is really not enough," Ashley Nichols told us during a day out with her nephews and niece at the iPlay in Sugar Land. "And so you have to have two and a half, and that's where the aunt comes in."

Nicole Puma is a mother and an aunt but says she really enjoys the latter.

"I think that being an aunt is so much fun because I don't have to say no very often," she said.

"We don't have to be the disciplinarians," McGee explained. "We don't have to be the person that listens to the bickering, so we have more patience. We have more of the ability to be fun. We get to be silly, and we get to be an extra adult that they know loves them no matter what."

But what about getting some of the credit for helping raise awesome kids?

"It doesn't matter," she said. "I don't need people to celebrate my role. I need to love two kids."

McGee says she learned to be a great aunt from her own beloved Aunt Becky.

"She would always say to me, 'I love you to the moon and back.' And I didn't know exactly what that meant until I had a niece and nephew of my own, and it just hit me the moment I saw them. 'There's no end to how much I love you. There is nothing that I wouldn't do.'"

So maybe we don't need an Aunt and Uncle's Day after all. Maybe that unconditional love is enough.

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