Childless, with Children

When I met and married my husband Dave, I was past my expiration date for producing offspring.  Our little girl ‘Halo’ probably doesn’t count, as she is a Doberman and was birthed via surrogate, not via me.  Despite being childless, we have never been without children.  There always seem to be tiny humans in our home:  plenty of nieces, tons of nephews, friends’ kids, children from the extended family, and kids from the neighborhood who know we’re always up for a game of Sharks and Minnows in the pool.  We are honored to have seven Godchildren between us, and even more so after nervously verifying that did not mean we were responsible for their college educations.

Kids say awesome stuff.  Often, you must keep from laughing your ass off until after they leave, so they will not need therapy.  

One time, while settling in for yet another viewing of ‘The Brave Little Toaster’, my cousin’s daughter loudly announced, “I want cockporn!”  I registered that for a moment, and then determined I should make popcorn instead of calling Child Protective Services.  

In turn, children can make you say things you never thought you would say.  “Don’t lick the car” comes to mind.  “Stop folding up your sister in the lounge chair” is another example.

Though I have had wistful moments of wishing I had my own child, and as much as I adore these sweet creatures, it can be a bit of a relief when they are returned to their parents.  Dance contests, spotting back walkovers, and pretending children are recycling that has to be hauled out can take a toll on the body.  The mind grows weary too, from endless knock, knock jokes and listening to passionate renditions of ‘Frozen’ songs many, many times

When at last it is time for the village to return the child, my usual routine is to hug them tightly, tell them they are my favorite, appear to be heartbroken and wave goodbye forlornly from the front porch.  They love this, and it ensures you will receive one of those handprint/turkey drawings at Thanksgiving.  As soon as the door is closed, I dash as fast as my poor body will allow to the fridge and pour a gigantic glass of wine that I clutch while laying on the floor like a giant ‘X’ to ease my back pain.  

After a particularly energetic visit from my cousin’s three little girls, Dave was off to an emergency chiropractic appointment and I had assumed my recovery position while making a mental shopping list (OxiClean, Tylenol, a new coffee table) when the doorbell rang.  I don’t think I even realized I was still clenching my wine glass when I answered the door.  The mom is one of those really together chicks, and had already inventoried and discovered a pair of swimming goggles and Hello Kitty! underpants had been left behind.  She glanced at my heavy pour and gave me a knowing smile.

“Oh look at you, you’re already into the Mommy Juice!”

It made me feel just like a real mom.

Cheers!

Gretchen