My beautiful niece Claire was born this past Saturday.
‘Scuse me while I go squeal and jump up and down like a little girl.
Ok, I’m back.
I am over the moon with excitement and joy for my brother and his wife and our family; it’s quite simply the awesomest. thing. ever. Thank goodness for technology; because of it, I’ve been able to see video of Claire, and even face-time with her on a sunny day while sitting at a coffee shop. She’s heard my voice, and I live thousands of miles away. That is amazing.
The only thing marring this experience for me (well, other than the whole being thousands of miles away thing) is this lingering feeling that some folks out there…”they”… might be judging me because I am an SOS – single older sister. You know, the one who’s not getting any younger. The one who, if I got pregnant tomorrow, would be labeled as a “geriatric pregnancy”.
Don’t worry, I have no plans to get pregnant tomorrow.
“They” are the ones who, when I say that it’s my younger brother who’s made me an aunt, can’t quite hide the dismay in their eyes as they glance at my empty ring finger and do the math. I can practically hear the “oh, bless your heart”.
This doesn’t happen often, but when it does…grrrr…it’s like fingers on a chalkboard. I’m not a fan. I don’t want, need or deserve anyone’s pity. I work damn hard to build a life of meaning in a society that is obsessed with couples and kids, and I like the life I’ve built. I do not feel “lesser” because I don’t have children. There are times when I indulge in a little self-pity because I don’t have a man to unscrew lids for me, but I kick those thoughts to the curb where they belong, because they are selfish. I am blessed. I have a great life. Is it perfect? No. Nothing is perfect.
But imperfect doesn’t mean unhappy.
I realize that psychologically speaking, my need to proclaim thusly probably indicates that I have more insecurities about this stuff than I admit, and I acknowledge that. Blog = cheap therapy, remember? And yes, I know, I shouldn’t care if others are judging me, but we all know that is easier said than done.
So here it is, on the record, because when you read it on the interwebs, it’s totally true, right? In this case, it is.
I am happy and not the least bit jealous or sad that I’m an aunt and an SOS. For at least the next decade, hopefully longer, Claire won’t care about my SOS status. Neither should anyone else.
There. I said it, and now I can go back to being the best aunt in the world. Bring it.