I am not a parent. I love kids, especially my nieces and nephews, but in small doses. I’ve always believed in the importance of extended family, so I make myself as available as I can to them and take my role as the Weird Aunt seriously. So this year when looking at budgets and the four nieces and two nephews who would be expecting something awesome from me and my husband, we decided the best thing we could do would be to invite them for a sleep over (two at a time to keep the adult to kid ratio reasonable). So far so good. It would be relatively cheep, just some extra groceries. And awesome in that I tend to be much looser about certain rules than my brother and sister-in-law. I can do that – they go home. So we proposed this to the parents and came to an agreement. No bed time and no limits on computer or TV time. And they would come one pair after another.
I am not a parent. I don’t want to be a parent. My body has made it perfectly clear it doesn’t want to be a parent either. Yet I love kids. I like having them around. They are so full of interesting inspiration and full on creativity that it’s like magic. For me, that makes being an Aunt almost perfect.
Recently, I found myself with three nieces and a nephew in my house for the afternoon. I’d borrowed them to help with a yard work project that took all of half an hour, but my brother couldn’t pick them up until after dinner. So, for half a day, I became a parent. I know, it’s not much, but it gave me the flavor of all the parent/writers out there.