“What is she talking about? She doesn’t have children!” That is true. And I think that qualifies me to write this post, from the other perspective.
As you probably know by now, I have a niece and a nephew, who I live far from. So I’m the cool aunt that comes to play once in a while. And I promise, I don’t bring them presents or sweets everytime I go so they love me. I don’t believe in those things. What I do though, is give them a thing that is free: attention and love. Honestly all I have. I pour it over them.
Couple of days ago I came back from Madrid, where I’ve spent 10 days, with my family and friends (also celebrating I turned 29! How and when did that happen???). The original plan was to help my sister with the kids, because my brother in-law had to go out of town for work. This didn’t happen in the end, so I was just an extra in their daily lives.
This gave me the opportunity to watch, learn and ask questions, aside from the usual “how can I help you?”.
Kids are amazing when left on their own. They are curious and like to investigate everything. Go up and down places switching lights on and off. It is really a brilliant thing to watch.
But they also need their share of attention. They want to show you what they do, how they do it and to play with them. And you do have to play properly, with voices and all, otherwise you are not actually playing. I can’t remember how many times I did the voice of Snow White or the one of a dog… And let me tell you, this is exhausting. If you are a parent, this is no news for you. But for us childless singletons, Paw Patrol is the best time to get a quick nap between games.
I was “asked” (rather begged) to babysit my niece and nephew for few hours, and after a whole week learning their routines, I thought I was ready. I just prayed for good weather so we could go to the playground.
Somehow, the day passed by so fast I barely noticed. And I only had to throw couple of threats here and there (which I deeply regret. Sorry Marta). I only noticed how much energy I had used when they were both asleep and I sat down on the sofa. I honestly couldn’t move.
When my niece woke up because of a nightmare, I thought she wouldn’t like to be with me but with her parents. Surprisingly, that wasn’t the case. She grabbed my arm, hugged it and fell asleep with her face on my palm. Best.Moment.EVER. I would have stayed there forever if my arm hadn’t start to tingle.
After a visit to Madrid, I usually push away the idea of children in my future. But this time was different. Despite the sleepless nights my sister and her husband have, I would have it all for that hug, my name coming out of their mouths, their laughs. Life with children is a big adventure.
So here is my praise to parents, especially to those who don’t have the help of their partners for whatever the reason. If it is hard to do being together, can’t imagine doing it all by yourself.
Keep being amazing. You are doing it right.