Friday, 18 March 2011

The Children In Our Lives

When a proofreader was going through the manuscript for Seraphic Singles/The Closet's All Mine, she wondered how "Other People's Children" fit into the rest of the book. One moment I'm talking about dating (or not dating) and the next moment, I'm babysitting my nephew. What was that all about?

What that was about was that many women (if not most women) love children, especially babies, and one of the harder burdens of Single life is not being anybody's mummy or, if a Single mum of one, never being anyone else's mummy. My life as a Single woman--and now my life as a Married woman--is infinitely richer for my sister's son "Pirate" and my brother's children "Peanut" and "Popcorn."

I know this isn't a tremendous comfort if you're the only child of an only child, or just don't get along with your family, but some of us can feel better about "not starting a family" when we remember that we were born into a family and have a permanent place in it. Even as family members die, we're the people who pray for them, and hopefully they are praying for us. Love lives forever.

Sadly, I don't get to see my nephews and niece as much as I'd like, for I live across the ocean from all of them, but I enjoy socializing with the Youngest Member of the Parish and his mother.

Feel free to mention in the combox any of your little friends: nieces, nephews, wee brothers and sisters, fellow parishioners, students, babysitting charges. Don't use their real names, of course! Think of a cute one-time-only nickname.


Domestic Diva said...

Too many to name, but all so very dear to my heart! Nieces, nephews, godchildren, & friends' children all bless my life. It's so wonderful to walk in the door and have all these little ones cheer and smother me with hugs & kisses. One 5 year old daughter of a friend said when we were out to see The Nutcracker, "It's way more fun with you here than just having Mom & Grandma." I think Grandma was a little jealous, but I delighted in it!

Eowyn said...

Tonight I got to have a delightful conversation with a 4-year-old, wherein she told me the stories of Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty:

"She pricked her finger on the spinning wheel, and then she just, I don't know! She just fell on the ground. I guess she was asleep."
"Oh no! How did she wake up?"
"She just...woke up!"
"Did anyone *help* her wake up?"
" She was dead, and then she was alive again!"

Who needs the prince?

Kate P said...

Your little nicknames are so cute. I've got Oldest Nephew, Niece, Middle Nephew, and Youngest Nephew. Youngest Nephew will turn 3 on Sunday and there will be a party!

I work with the older kids at school, but I have a special friendship with the second grade because I sang for their First Penance a few months ago. I am looking forward to singing for First Holy Communion, too.

Fritha said...

I only have one nephew, and he is the most gorgeous nephew in the whole wide world... Still trying to persuade my brothers that I need a niece to spoil!

Anna said...

I have one sister who is 8. She'll call or email me sometimes out of the blue, and she always introduces herself, "this is your youngest sister, Princess*." As if I forgot who she was! So cute!

*Princess not her real name

Nekeisha said...

I have little cousins who are slowly getting older but my favourite right now is my sister's godson, I love him and he loves me. What I especially love is that he prefers me over my sister but the little booger at not quite 2 already knows how to play us against each other to get all the attention and loves he wants.

Ginger said...

I have seven younger siblings, who I rarely see now that I live far away. I especially miss the youngest two (who are ages 2 and 4) because I know they're like different people every time I see them! Plus, I think how odd it is that I've been out of the house long enough that my relationships with the youngest ones are totally different than the older ones, who more or less grew up with me around.

To the younger ones, I'm more like an aunt who shows up on holidays and sends cards with money on their birthdays, rather than a sister.

But I know lots and lots of little kids where I am now, as well. Sometimes that helps, but sometimes it just makes me miss my siblings more.

Catholic Pen said...

I work with kindergartners and although being with 16 five year olds at once can have its trials it is a blessing. Yesterday, I received a love letter from one of my girls, and then my class burst into O Come All Ye Faithful while my assistant and I tried to clean up a mess one of the other kids got into a recess. Not exactly sure why they burst into that song other than it was a song in their Christmas program and so it is "their" song and also somehow the feast of St. Joseph that we were talking about reminded them of Christmas. Regardless, it still made me smile, and I have been chuckling about it ever since.

Christine said...

I work as a nanny right now, so during working hours I have four little ones in my life! Twins Cheesehead and Toothy (9 mos.) 3 days/wk, and Dramatique (8 yrs) and her sister Curly (13 mos.) the other two days. It's a pretty sweet gig.

Nzie (theRosyGardener) said...

I think one thing I will miss when I go to law school next year will be being around children! Hopefully I can meet some young families at church. :) I have 6 younger sibs (youngests are now 11), and five nieces and nephews (nearly 1->8)... fortunately my sister posts funny things about them on facebook all the time (since I live about 5000 miles away right now). :D

I get my child 'fix' right now because I teach four classes - one of 7-9s, one of 8-10s, one of 13-15s, and one of 14-17s. To me, teens are the best age group (probably because I get to send them home, haha!) but they're all great. The little ones are so adorable- getting a bunch of eastern European 7 year olds to ask for what they need in English is fun. I had one little girl who confused two classroom language points once - "My name is ____" and "Can I have a rubber (eraser), please?" to say "My name is rubber!" so eagerly! And my 8-10s love this one song they've learned- they're sounding like a little choir. :)

Christine Falk Dalessio said...

Having not been able to have my own children, it took me years to feel comfortable at dozens of baby showers, all alike with their games and frills and gurgles of delight over a box of pampers.
But you're right - part of being in tune with womanhood is a natural motherhood- whether it's with your own children or anyone else's...even when it takes some work.
I want to give a shout out for my own nephews GMan who decided recently that he's a "monopoly kind of guy" after winning the game, Smooshy who slams himself into people he loves, Amtrack King who just told his grandfather "you're old, but I'm new" and my sweet Irish eyed girl who makes me laugh. I'm so glad your mothers had you to share with us!