Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kids


Good evening. I'm coming to you live from my bedroom recliner as I sit with my windows open, listening to the rain. I've been up past my bedtime worrying about a kid who needs zero worrying, and I'm have an "Oh, NOW I get it" moment about what it must have been like to be my dad.

When I was little, my dad always talked to me as though I were forty, and I went along with it as though this were normal. My mom, not so much, but my dad; I thought we were old War buddies.

Once when I was eight it occurred to me that I would not know the things I knew had it not been for my dad, and I wondered why other kids' dads were not speaking with them about Maxwell Maltz and Psycho Cybernetics

From that tender age, I knew that my dad was complex and perhaps too unique for this world. He was a musician working in corporate america, and he was also the best coffee pourer at church. He did not like it when people did not remember his name (Chuck Andersen) after he'd made a point to remember theirs on multiple occasions. My dad annoyed me sometimes because he was the 's' word: Sensitive.

One time my dad told me that he wished he could go out in the world and make all the mistakes that I would make so that I would not have to feel the pain of making them myself. I now nod with an annoying "aha."

Tonight, as I watched my five-year-old nephew quietly, diligently change into his sleepover pjs, my heart broke with the fierceness of a hungry lioness. I thought to myself,

..."If any kid bullies my nephew this coming Fall at Kindergarten, I will hunt them down and create a chaotic Lifetime Movie for the kid, the parents, and the parents' parents. The dog and cat too..."

Whoa. I caught myself. Where did THAT come from?

Once Sam fell asleep (yes, despite the lightening and thunder I so worried would scare him), I spent some much needed solitude in the backyard, looking up at the sky. I used to be so afraid of storms and I've written about it on several occasions. When I was seven my dad, my brother and I were in a bit of a nasty tornado up North. It changed me, seeing that. Seeing my grandfather worry about my father as he stayed up through the night clearing tress away from the downed power lines lest my mother get electrocuted when driving her car home the next morning. I remember thinking, "Grandpa, you are acting so weird. Let my daddy do his chainsaw thing." But, back then, I did not understand how parents worry about kids and their kids' kids and so on and so forth.

Let's be clear: I am NOT a parent. I am an Aunt. 

I am pretty careful about giving credit where credit is due, and I know that I will never know what it is like to have a kid unless I have one of my own. But, still. 

Kids, man.

Driving home tonight from work, I knew Sam would be here sleeping over, and instead of blaring my radio and loling at some stupid Millennial frivolity, I was stressed out, feeling guilty that his bedtime was swiftly approaching. When I got home, I was so tired that I had to decline "arting" with my nephew and I promptly fell asleep on the couch. I awoke to, 

"Grandma Mary, Auntie Susan is already sleeping!?"

Oops. I got up and tried to act adult-like, and yet fun at the same time. The only thing I could manage to do was drink a glass of chardonnay. Meanwhile, my friends were out at the bar (Mondays can almost be like Fridays if you work in retail) and I found myself toying with the idea of "sneaking out of the house" but then realized that was ridiculous.

Points.
  1. I have always wanted a kid, or at least I thought I did.
  2. I love my nephews and niece more than I can articulate and I would do anything for them.
  3. I am not sure if I should still want a kid.
  4. If I have said kid, it is totally possible that I would worry myself into a wormhole and be swallowed up by a super nova of guilt, shame, and anxiety over my little cub.
It is super confusing, this whole procreation thing. Props to moms and dads, step moms and dads, aunties, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, bubbies, etc, etc,

Good night.
Sleep tight.
And If the bed bugs bite you and your precious alabaster skin, I'll rage out all over them like whoa.

Protective,
Auntie Susan.








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