Shocker, right! Yea, that little nugget of information came to me this morning.
Being born and raised in my family, I was the middle child. Or in Star Trek terms, two of three. I felt cheated. Mema had six kids (my mom was two of six), Mema came from something like 9. My grandpa came from something of like 13. I wanted to be from a big family. That didn't happen. So, I thought I would make my own! Nope. No such luck. I have three.
After Sarah was born things happened and I could no longer have children. This is something I've struggled with greatly over the years. And, I mean struggled. I so wanted to have more children. I so wanted to have more children with my husband. To go through pregnancy with him. I wanted it more than anything. When we were in Kansas, we had the opportunity for this dream to come true. But, when George lost his job, there went that chance. When we moved to Texas 7 years ago we looked into it extensively. But it wasn't in the cards. We even looked at foster adopt, but that wasn't in the cards either.
Two years ago, I finally forgave myself. It was twelve years in the making. But I finally did. I told God, if I can't have anymore children, please take away this longing. And, boy did He! Almost immediately after this, one of my best friends got pregnant (surprise!) and she was afraid to tell me. She thought I'd be upset b/c I couldn't have anymore. It was quite the opposite. I was so happy for her. I became cool aunt Gina to the baby to be. I spoiled her even while she was in the tummy. She's almost one now. She's amazing and she knows who I am, even if I don't see her as often as I'd like. But when she sees me and hears my voice, her whole face lights up and she smiles and makes me feel amazing.
The past five days, I've had the opportunity to have my wish come true. No, I'm not pregnant. My Carol and Brian are on their second honeymoon in Canada. Which means for me, I get her kids. All four of them! For those of you who don't know, our families met in 2004 at St. Jude's at a Marriage in the Movies class. Carol and I found out we were both going to the upcoming Christ Renews His Parish (chrp) retreat. I asked God to please put her at my table, so I would at least know someone there. Being new to the parish, I knew no one (boy how that has changed! lol) and He did! Carol and I clicked over the next six months. Our friendship grew by leaps and bounds and for those who know me, they'll tell you, that the greatest gift I got out of the chrp weekend, was my Carol. Our families are not families by blood. We're better than that. We celebrate holiday's together (all of them!) We hang out together, we share just about everything. My kids are her kids, and her kids are mine. We parent the same way (which is hard to find someone who parents like you). Carol will be the first to tell you how I take care of her. And, I'll be the first to tell you how she walks on water both ways and how once, just once, I saw her levitate lol. She is my big sister. She listens to my incessant whining (which doesn't happen all that often). She'll tell me when I'm wrong and George is right (I really hate that lol) and she loves me unconditionally (as do all of my friends). You don't have to be related by blood to be family. She and I, we're sisters.
Her kids are amazing. All four of them. So, having the opportunity to spend five full days with them and my kids, I was excited. For a short while, I'm going to have my big family! It has been absolutely wonderful! The older kids look after the younger kids, they play, hang out and generally have a good time. It's too hot to go anywhere (although today, we're going bowling!) I have enjoyed every minute of it. I joked, that this is what my friend Suzanne must feel like. She has 8 kids I think (sorry, Suzanne if I forgot one!) It has been wonderful. But, I'm tired! lol I said the same thing when we got my puppy Ignatius (Iggy for short). God gave me a puppy because I'm too old to do a baby. This house training thing is going to be the death of me. Yes, Ignatius does his business outside. But, he also holds 'meetings' inside too!
I have many friends who cannot have children for one reason or another. And, I can empathize. When I was dealing with my issues of not having anymore children, people would say God has a plan. People say that a lot. They said it each time George lost his job. They said it over my baby situation. They say it all the time. It got to the point that if I heard it one more time, I was going to scream. I didn't want God's plan and most of the time, I still don't. I wanted Him to do things my way. Clearly, He knows better. I'm not as young as I use to be. Don't get me wrong, I love, LOVE being in my 40's. I love the freeing that comes with it. The 'I'm to old for this crap' and 'I don't care if you like me or not' attitude. That's not to say that I don't care about things anymore, it's more of I don't care about all the little crappy stuff. It's awesome.
But, as I said before, God is smarter than me. I can look back and see that three kids is the perfect amount for me. I get to live vicariously through my friends as they have babies and have their big families. And, that's okay with me. After all, it may not be the way I want it, or the way I think it should be, but in the end, God has a plan. lol
Until next time,
Pray for safe travel for my Carol and Brian as they come home tomorrow