My friend calls me Super Auntie because I have a gang of “stories” about the Babies; that is, the 8 little and not so little ones who call me “aunt” (if only on holiday cards).
I like them. They’re cool kids; beautiful and imperfect and energetic and growing faster than I can keep up with sizes and interests. I’ve never been able to think of them as anything other than little people anyway. And they confirm my instinct often. The 10 year old princess wonders first as we browse Walmart for toothpaste and pretzels why I do not have children then answers her own question, “because you have Us.” And in true pubescent form, we are off the subject as soon as we were on it ’cause we spy some earrings that make us stop and take notice.
I’m sure it’s been on her mind. My now fifteen year old nephew, when he was 5 or 6, used to try to sell me off to every man we ran into, including the Egyptian father of two who sold me incense, so that I “could have babies and get married like my twin–’cause she’s married, see, and Aunt Darlene’s not.”
Niece, standing at my shoulder (which apparently happens when you turn your head–I could have sworn she was just crawling a week ago) continues as we move toward the lotions, “but if you want some all you have to do is go and find out if you’re pregnant.”
“To the doctor you mean? I go to the doctor to find out?”
“Umm,” she thinks for a minute, “yeah.”
Ahh, were it so easy.
Alas, it requires at least one more step (that I know of) but she was right about one thing: I have all the children I need in them. (Muchos gracias to my sisters).
Don’t get me wrong. It is not that I have never thought of having children of my own. Shucks, It’s a full moon in Scorpio, a water sign, fertile time y’all. So boom bam! A round brown cuddly thing snuck into last night’s dream.
Sure, when I was in college I expected to backpack a team of them around the world, one on my back; two in a buggy; the other to be born after we came back from whatever international adventure on which we found ourselves. Because of course me and Mr. Revolution would have to re-christian our home upon the return and of course me and Mr. Revolution would not want to hinder the revolution by using (insert gasp here for full effect) birth control. The babies are the nation. And I was all about nation-building.
Now how all this international travel with babies on my back was gonna get paid for was not a major concern then. I was a “dreamer” like the undershirt I am wearing right now labels me. I figured it would get done when it got done how it was supposed to get done.
I still trust the wisdom of the Universe at least that much.
And while I wonder as much as the next (’cause I have been summoned by older ones than my niece about this issue) how my frame would respond to the additional weight of growing life; if I’m the twin who would have the twins; would I name them meaningful names or “acceptable” ones; would I vaccinate, cuddle, enroll them in dance and soccer; kiss their daddy even when they were looking, I also know that suitable daddies of the kissing kind are not roaming the streets seeking my stubborn-ness. I know I am not ready to give up my own dreams yet and probably would resent sharing or sacrificing them for another human being. As much as I love the idea of being a parent, the Universe must recognize these and a ka-trillion other circumstances I cannot or will not name are why I have been given Them.
I can’t call the cards without cheating, and wonder if it’s important that I have to be sure if I wanna play before I get dealt in anyway. I doubt it. We’ll see.