Thursday, December 9, 2010
My mom wrote the annual Christmas letter recently, and it got me thinking. I'm going to use her own words to establish my point.
'Ah, the ever dreaded holiday letter, filled with the musings and celebrations from the Pottinger family. I told the kids this year that I was going to write one line, "Nothing has changed, see 2009 letter." Daniel and his girlfriend of six years, Amanda, have still NOT gotten engaged or set a date, Brooke and Nick keep talking about the next step but it seems to be one step forward and two steps back. Lauren is single and a workaholic. I have no grandchildren, (though I am lucky to have 10 great nieces and nephews, and two on the way) so I spoil my dog.'
Now, I know my mom loves me and my siblings. The rest of the letter goes on to say how great things are going in all of our lives, and is really sweet and well written. This is in no way about her and her desire for grandbabies. It's about me. Which may be the problem.
I have been told for years that I would be a great mom. I get along with kids, I have fun with them and treat them like mini-adults, and they seem to like me. I remember Thanksgivings as a teenager/early twenty something spent in the front yard with my young neighbors or relatives playing, while the adults would be inside. I was the babysitter to call in our neighborhood, and I would come with a box full of books, games, and costumes so that the kids would go to bed exhausted and creatively fulfilled. I took one of the kids I babysat trick or treating one year. His costume was Darth Vader, so I dressed like Princess Leia, buns and all. I enjoy spending time with kids and helping them to become decent teenagers who will grow into fantastic adults.
All that being said, I'm just not sure it's right for me. I have the inkling that I might enjoy it, and I understand that as a woman I won't know until it's happened...at least, that's what all my married/babied friends say. But the concept is a bit overwhelming to me even in the abstract. I would be responsible for a human life? A child which cannot defend itself and can't tell me what he/she needs? I can be honest with myself and say that I am a pretty lazy/self indulgent person. If I want to stay in bed til 11, I do. If I want to go to a movie, I'll take myself. I don't know about scheduling a whole day for another person, let alone myself. I look at all the moms in my life, mine included, and I wonder how they do/did it. They have a patience I don't see in myself. A selflessness that I don't know that I have.
So, it may be a wish unfulfilled for dear old Mom. She'll have to make do with grandpuppies, and I'll be the best darned Aunt on the planet. I'll always buy the loudest toys and give them the most chocolate and soda before I drop them back off at your house. I will give them the biggest and best gifts and be the one who is there when you get in a fight with them, to tell them the exact same thing you have been trying to say, but they'll listen to me, cause I'm "Cool Aunt Lauren.".