Saturday, December 9, 2017

Positive Female Role Model

I was over at my younger sister's place this evening, helping babysit my older younger sister's kids while she and her husband went out on the town in a party bus limo, on a holiday lights tour. My help wasn't really needed--my sister and brother-in-law had things mostly under control, and the kids spent a good part of the evening looking over the shoulder of my younger brother (who lives there) while he WOWed them with a tour of a video game fantasy land...Even so, the kids were happy to see me and I had a good time playing with my youngest nephew, who's just a little over one year old now, and definitely in the top percentile of babies when it comes to cuteness, intelligence, storytelling, and quality of giggles. (He also learned to say name before anyone else's, after mom and dad of course. Granted, it was partly by accident, but it's still the absolute sweetest thing to hear him say, and get excited about.)

After dinner and dragons and such, it was time to get ready for bed. I was asked into the bathroom by my niece, who is six, and while she was getting into her PJs she (rather unexpectedly) asked me: why didn't you ever get married?

After a beat, I replied: (I guess?) I never had the chance...

She's smart, and she's seen a lot of Disney movies, so she took that in and rather quickly changed the subject to something else, like getting stuck in her pajamas or something goofy like that.

It wasn't technically true, I suppose, but it seemed like the most honest thing I could say. I didn't think about it much--I just try to keep it real with the kids, as much as I can.

She's probably asked me that question before, actually, although I feel like I'd have remembered it, much like I remember her asking me, a few years back (and when it was still a possibility, albeit distant), when I was going to have a baby. When I told her I probably wasn't ever going to, she asked why, and all I could say was: because a baby needs a dad, and that's something I don't have in my life.

I still recall my older brother's kids, too, so long ago, asking when they would have cousins...They have just three, now, and none anywhere near their ages.

This really doesn't get easier. I wish it did. I really, really wish it did, but it really, really doesn't.

On the bright side, I don't have to make anyone breakfast tomorrow morning! Not even myself.


Bree said...

I started reading your blog years ago because one of my favorite books is one of your favorite books (The Bone People) and I could search people up like that. Somehow I stumbled upon your soulful writing and was strangely immersed and swallowed up. It's been years since I even looked at blogger and decided to go through old blogs that I loved. Again I started reading a few of your posts. I'm writing this late 2020 and looks as though you've stopped writing here. Who knows if you'll ever read this, but if you do, I want you to know that you've made an impact on me, far far away and over time. I don't know why your writing affected me so deeply and I really don't care. Through this medium and your brutal honesty, you revealed part of yourself to complete strangers, and I'm more thoughtful for it. One of my daily practices is to appreciate someone. Today is your day. I am here to appreciate you. Even though I have no clue who you are and even though we'll never know each other. Through anonymous cyberspace, people can connect with each other. And that is a beautiful thing. I wish you a good day and a beautiful life. No matter the hardships, you are alive.

fremenine said...

Wow. I just wandered back here today to see if I had at some point written down my borscht recipe. It so happened that the search box was situated next to your comment, which I clicked on out of curiosity, thinking it was most likely one of my own afterthoughts... I did a double-take at the date before I read it, because the chance of my having encountered your words here today seems both impossibly small and infinitely amazing. I'm at a loss to express how much your note and the timing of it means to me, truly. Thank you for these thoughts and words, and for being out there somewhere. Big cosmic hug. :)

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