Friday, May 9, 2014

Being a mom without being a mom

I've blogged before, a few years ago, about my perspective of motherhood through being an aunt.  I feel like I have a unique situation that is often undervalued or under-minded by people who might not fully understand.  I'm not just an aunt.  I have dealt with the good and the bad.  I've spent sleepless nights with a sick child and I've spent days on the couch just trying to make it to bedtime.  I have more experience with children than a lot of people I know who actually have children.  But I'm not a mother. 

This brings me to my nephew, JD.  

Seriously though. He is the cutest.

I can't even begin to explain this kid to you.  He's funny and smart and so cute. He talks ALL THE TIME and he says the strangest, funniest things.  

Last weekend, my mom and dad went to my sister's house to stay with her boys while my sister and her husband attended a conference.  My sister had the boys paint wooden spoons as a Mother's Day gift for my mom.  JD got the spoons and gave them to my mom and, unprompted, said, "These are for Mother's Day. There are two for you and two for Zizi!"  I'm Zizi.  My mom came home and told me this and I just about lost it.  I had to text my sister immediately and thank her for sharing him with me.

Mother's Day isn't my favorite.  It reminds me of my Grandmother who passed away.  It reminds me that there are things in this life that I have always wanted that I don't yet have and that I have very little (if any) control over whether I will ever get those things.  

But then JD comes along.  He always thinks of me.  Not because someone else has prompted him, but because he loves me and because, through some stroke of luck, he and I just get each other.  This all sounds so sappy, but it's important.  It's important and meaningful for me to see that I have actually impacted his life, and the lives of my other nephews and niece, the way he has impacted mine.  It's important to feel this connection, which is so close to feeling like a mother without actually being a mother, and helps me feel like I am doing something good in my life.  It validates the time and energy I devote to helping raise my sister's kids.  It makes me feel so good.

JD is proof that you can be a mom without being a mom.  There are people out there, not just children, who need the kind of love and support only a mother can provide, even if it's just for a short while.  Unconditional love, a shoulder to cry on, a place to turn during good times and bad times.  That's what a mom is there for and that is something everyone is capable of providing.

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