pretending

I just said goodbye to my niece, the oldest.  She’s twelve and the two of us have a pretty special relationship.  When she was little, she was just as close with her other aunt, my sister, but she now has kids of her own and a lot less time to play the doting aunt.

So the niece, who can be a bit of a Whirlwind (ADHD will do that), spent the night last night and we had a great time.

I realized, at some point, that when we’re together alone, I imagine what my life would be like if things were different, if she were my kid, not my niece.  And I ache a bit for that imaginary life, both for me and for her, as her needs fall through the cracks quite a bit in the real world.

At the same time, I know that raising a child is not the same as borrowing one for the weekend, and that with all my notions of how I could parent her better, I also know that there’s no way to know that—it is possible I could mess up way more than has been done so far in her life.

But Miss Famous and I sure loved having her around.

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4 responses to “pretending

  1. Glad you had a good time with her.

  2. That is awesome that you have such a good relationship with her! I think being an aunt is a wonderful thing (I have a 13 yo niece and 8 year old Nephew).
    I love this picture- Miss Famous totally looks like she is smiling!!!!

  3. It’s good to have spent such a nice weekend with her.

    I have done my share of pretending….and it does not feel good in the end.

  4. Boy, I can identify with that feeling! The brief months that my husband’s niece lived with us were amazing, and I remember thinking many of the same things. How it would be if she was there permanently, if she was mine. The heartbreak of thinking I could do better by her than Mo’s mother, or even her own mother, could.

    But, as you said, there’s no way to know. Perhaps I couldn’t do any better. In the end, I just had to accept the fact that she was better off being loved by me, even if she wasn’t mine to keep.

    Hugs,
    Jo

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