To those with a mother’s heart…

Happy Mother’s Day!!!  I want to include all the aunts, grandmas, older sisters that take care of younger siblings, and anyone with a mother’s heart out there.  Not everyone woman who cares for a child is that child’s mother, but if they take care of them to a large extent and spend a fair amount of time taking care of them, I want to honor them today by saying thanks.  Thank you for giving your time to these precious little ones, and caring about us ignorant big ones, too (hopefully we’ll grow out of it someday)!

Not everyone with a mother’s heart is a mother.  Some “mothers” can’t have children, biologically speaking, and furthermore can’t afford adoption.  Some are single, some are ill, some are just not cut out for parenthood, but all of these people have a heart for children – a mother’s heart.  Take me, for example.  I never wanted kids.  I still don’t want kids.  My nephew Cullen, though, has been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.  He’s my younger brother and sister-in-law’s son.  He’s just a little over 10 months old, and my husband and I watch him early in the mornings and early in the evenings when my brother takes my sister-in-law to work and goes to pick her up, and sometimes during the day when Gramma (my mom) can’t make it into town to watch him.  I go for walks during the day with Cullen and my mom on days when she’s watching him, too.  I’m unable to have children myself because I had adenomyosis and had to have a hysterectomy, and I honestly don’t think I could be a full-time, all-out parent.  Being an aunt is fun, though!  It does come with challenges, and I see enough of Squiggle Bug that those challenges come up, but he’s a joy to have around.  That smile of his is so awesome, and he’s always excited to see me and spend time with me!  He loves his uncle, too!  My husband and I find ourselves looking for things to get for him and things that he’d like or that would be fun for him when we’re out and about or thinking about life in general.  He’s our nephew to spoil!  In reality, though, we want to make sure he gets all the opportunities that we can give him to explore and learn.  For example, I, the weird and crazy aunt in his life, will teach him about bugs, and frogs, and mud, and rock climbing, and all things outdoors and nature and science!  I will do my best to make sure he’s well-educated about things and will be there to lend an ear and a hug, should he ever need one or both.  My goal is to try to have a relationship with him such that I can help fill in where his mom and dad aren’t able to due to the realities of life, like work and/or other things in life that can be absolutely unpredictable.  Being an aunt is like being a grandma in a lot of ways, but it’s unique because you’re a totally separate entity, too, with a completely separate relationship.  Squiggle Bug is one of my motivations to get back in shape, because I’m going to have to be in shape to teach him to rock climb and to keep up with him!  He’s also teaching me a lot about myself.  I’m still not a kid person, but I’m definitely a Cullen person, if that makes any sense.  If any other kid slobbered on me the way Squiggle Bug does, I think I’d have to wear a hazmat suit.  Same with dirty diapers – with any other kid, add salad tongs and Vicks VapoRub to that hazmat suit thing.  But Squiggle Bug depends on me to help him with this stuff, so with Squiggle Bug, it’s all okay.  I want him to be a happy, healthy little boy.  I love him.  I really do.  I’m rather attached to him.  I never thought I’d feel that way about a baby.  I’d protect that little guy with my life.  And I’m his aunt, not his mother.

So that’s what I’m talking about when I say I want to honor the people with a mother’s heart today.  You don’t have to actually be a mother.  Your heart and your actions tell the story in enough detail that you know where you stand, as does everyone that knows you.  And to those “mothers” taking their little ones climbing and biking and exploring nature and active lifestyles, you go, Girls!!!  And keep it going!!!  Today’s your day!!!

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