I don't have any children of my own and the biological clock stopped a long time ago. At the age of 51 and having had my ovaries removed it would be somewhat miraculous should I find myself preparing for a child to enter my life. LOL
But, I have a niece, Haley, (6 years old this month) whom I simply love and adore. She has many problems: ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, which is very serious, and OCD. It's a real mix for the poor child, and her mother, my sister, deserves a purple heart. She and her husband, who died last year from lung cancer, adopted Haley. They took her into their home when she was 5 months old. The mother, a prostitute, was living on the streets and her father, my brother, Paul was in jail.
I also have another niece who is probably around 18 now. Ashley and I had such wonderful times together. She would come spend weeks with me during the summer - I live in the Pocono Mts. We would go to the thrift store and purchase the gaudiest old bride's maid gowns or prom gowns we could find.. We would purchase high heeled shoes that were too big for our feet and have a tea party. At that time her favorite group was Santana; we would blast it over the stereo and dance. Uncle Bruce taught her to dance.
Afterwards, she would sip her tea; I would sip my wine. Usually we would bake some little goody in advance too. One summer in particular is one I'll never forget. We sat at the little bistro table outside my bedroom window and she sang several Broadway songs for me, some of them Streisand's without any sense of self-consciousness. It was so beautiful.
I hadn't seen much of Ashley when she was really young. I only got to know her when she was around the age of 9 or 10. My brother is the blacksheep of the family, although my parents never saw him that way. Very intelligent he is, but also a smooth operator. Anyway, Paul never liked me from the time my mother catupulted him out of her womb. So, I didn't get to know Ashley until I moved near my brother and he decided he could use me. I knew what he was doing, but I wanted so much to come to know his daughter that I took it all and said "bring it on!"
I'm so glad I did. Ashley and I had a very close relationship until her mother had a fit one Xmas about something really stupid and ended my relationship with Ashley. I miss her terribly, but Marissa, Ashley had a tough life with her father and mother and she hasn't come out of it totally unscathed. I know for a certainty that I made a difference in her life. I know she can have no doubt that I love her unconditionally. And, I cherish our time together too much to mourn for what is now missing.
On one of her first visits to our home she made this comment, and I can quote it because I have never been able to forget it. "Aunt Caryn, when I was really little I hardly ever got to see you at all. But now it seems as though I see you all the time. It's almost like a gift." That is so beautiful. I treasure that response to my love. I know when Ashley is away from her mother and on her own she will get in touch with me. She did sneak one email to me after the big beakup to tell me that as far as she was concerned everything was okay.
We took Ashley for her first visit to the ocean, which was very special to me because I love the sound of the surf - it brings tears to my eyes, the sound is so soothing to the soul - compassionate nature. I have some personal reasons for the ocean to be a special place for me. We took her shopping, to various plays at the Pocono Playhouse, to amusement parks - so many memories.
Like you, the things that children say really touch and amaze me. When we grow older we can lose our sense of wonder. A child gives that back to us. We've seen many butterflies; they are seeing their first and we have the special gift of being able to see it through their eyes and it renews our own sense of wonder at the world around us. Plus, some of the things they say are just so darned honest!!!! And, they make their point quite clearly, sometimes much to our chagrin!