When I flew home for Christmas, I was sort of stuck on the plane in a crowded row with a dad and his 2-1/2 year old and his 1 year old, with the wife and 4-week old baby across the aisle. At first it was quite fun entertaining the girls, but the fun wore off as they got tired and couldn't get comfortable to fall asleep. Covered in cookie crumbs and feeling slightly overwhelmed as an unintentional passenger-made-babysitter, I decided that it as much as I have wanted my own kids, it was ok to be single and free.
Today in church, a woman shared her thoughts and thanked the single women around here who had been able to help take care of her kids. She mentioned that they were often better mothers than she was, that when she was stretched to her limit, they seemed to step in with the extra energy to give her sons attention and love that depleted her.
I had dinner this afternoon with my cousin and her husband and two sons. I love how much her little boys love me. They gave me a million little hugs and kisses and showed me all their tricks and asked me to help them make decorations and to watch them play on the playground out back and to finish their dessert. When Bryce poured his mom's makeup all over the bag, I calmly stepped in and helped her clean it all up. I remembered the words of the woman at church and I was eager to help. On my way home, I called my nephew and niece. As I hung up, Sierra told me, "I love you a hundred percent." How grateful I am to be an aunt and a cousin and an airplane babysitter. While it's especially nice to go home to my own quiet, clean house, with adult conversation, I recognize that I can be a mother in my own way. I've always grumbled at the concept in my very single life, but I realize it's actually a unique blessing to me, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. Except maybe a husband and my own kids. And only if they come one at a time in increments and they are clean and well-behaved. And they love me 100%.