...for baby fever, that is!
Yes, you read that right. Gimme allll the babies. (PSA: baby fever is actually a real thing - just read this!)
I've always had a super soft spot for babies and children in general. Their innocence, eagerness to be loved, and miniature stature has always had a hold on my heart - and while lots of sane, reasonable adults might enjoy being surrounded by other reasonable adults, I have to say that I almost may be just as content hangin' out with a kid.
I'm Aunt Erica to all the little loves in my life, related or not. I actually really enjoy babysitting. I think playing dress-up, putting face paint on, and running around fighting imaginary dragons is fun. I'm a firm believer that nothing is cuter than anything in baby form. When I visit my friends at the hospital to meet the newest member of their family, I witness love in its purest form; I watch mothers and fathers hold their precious little bundles and relish in the splendor that is parenthood. I watch this love grow as the years go by and their bundles become tiny people who love me, too. I'm that giddy aunt at every baby shower and birthday party, fumbling around with my camera, fawning over the kiddos and playing with them whenever the invitation (usually in the form of a smile and a little hand that takes mine) presents itself. Sometimes, though - when I'm not busy belting out the happy birthday song (or Frozen's infamous and annoying "Let It Go" for that matter) - I step away from the commotion and look on from the sidelines, making mental notes as I watch parents parent, and kids, well, test them. I listen to the words that are spoken into the next generation - little, living legacies that will one day rule the world, but are so blissfully unaware. I listen to my parent friends tell me how stressful parenting can be, then how indescribably amazing it is, and how exhausting it is at the same time, and then how blessed they are, and so on...and as the cycle replays itself, all I can do is smile, or nod, Oooh, or Aww, empathize and listen. Because while I wish I could relate, I can't. Sometimes, it pains me a little.
You see, I may do a lot of listening and watching, but I want to understand. I want to know what it feels like to experience all of those things and then some. I want to cry of happiness, cry of frustration and feel all the feelings in between, so that I can know what it's like to be a mother. I want to be a mother. I want to be a mom so bad. And while Adam and I have made plans to wait, I can't help but feel this way. And to be honest, I don't really talk about it because, well, I actually really like my kid-less life right now.
So in the meantime, I'll continue to watch and listen. I'll help. I'll help paint nurseries, plan baby showers, buy Christmas and birthday presents, and be supportive to my mommy friends when they need a break. I'll give my love, and a lot of it. And, I'll learn. For now, though, I'll continue living my own happiness as Aunt Erica, with my husband and our dog, in our little home by the bay. I'll cherish every day of this life we have now, but I can't promise I won't look out the window and imagine a little Carter running in the yard from time to time. x
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