I was unable to have my own children.
In a perverse way, it has felt like my destiny. I was named after my mother's twin when it was discovered that she could not have children. While I did not live my life thinking it was destiny, somehow it did seem to be. And no, I don't blame my mother for naming me after my aunt. It was a name I was proud of for many years since she was our favorite aunt. I have always wanted to live up to the Aunt Rita title that she held while we were growing up because we were so delighted when she would come visit.
My first nephew was born when I was only 15. He was the only grandkid of my parents for 3 years. Although they lived nearly 2 hours away, we saw them often and would take Brian for long weekends or sometimes for a whole week. It was soooo much fun. I loved being around him and just decided he was mine.
Three years later Brian had a new sister and cousin. Suddenly we had three babies in the house when they visited. By then I was eighteen and felt like they were all my own. I'm sure in their eyes I acted a little too much like they were mine, dishing out punishment if I felt they needed it. Eventually there were three more. All of them were partially mine. That was the destiny of being Aunt Rita. Aunt Rita's weren't supposed to have their own kids, they just adopted their nephews and nieces.
I'll save the story of the notorious stomping on kitty cat paws for another time.
As I have said, our family is close. That closeness extends even down into the next generation. We all love to get together, joke, jab and just have a good time. I've never felt a "distant aunt" connection with my nieces and nephews. It has always been a close friendship with all of them.
Nearly seven years ago, my husband's daughter had her first child. She made his first name our last name.
This new title of Mamaw was unbelievable. Because I was working 4 day weeks, I began to watch him all day on Friday's. Bob would be at work and I would get hours with this precious little baby all to myself.
I can remember one specific day when he was just over a year old and he didn't want to take a nap. I held him and rocked him in a chair until he finally went to sleep. After several minutes of sweet soft breathing, I stood up getting ready to take him up to his crib. Halfway through the great room I stopped.
It was one of those rare moments in life where you stop worrying about the next minutes and you just decide to live in the moment. Here I was, holding this precious little boy who calls me Mamaw, resting against my chest and breathing softly. I can remember literally bending my head down to his and simply breathing him in. It was a long slow intake of breath.
It was then that I felt it.
I had spent all of my adult life living in a desert with no water. Physically I felt like I had finally gotten that wonderful lifegiving drink of water that I had needed for years.
I don't know why God gives babies to some people and not to others. I believe I would have been a good mother. That question plagued me for the first few years of my grandson's life and sometimes it still does. I did not realize when my nieces and nephews were little that I would never have a child of my own. Finally having a grandson made me realize how very much I had missed out on.
I live for my grandson and granddaughter now. There is nothing any better than to hear them call me Mamaw. I delight in their antics and words. Life with grandbabies is good. There are always stories to tell and I no longer have to wander years through the desert searching for that sweet drink of water. All it takes is an out-of-the-blue comment, "Mamaw? I love you." Wow, that's better than winning the lottery.
I am now a Be-Bobble-ieber
5 hours ago