Monday, July 31, 2017

Parenthood: Week 215 – Other People’s Children: Part 2

A while back, I wrote (in this post) about how even though I love my own son and care deeply about my students, I’m not that interested in other people’s children. I would actually prefer that there are no other kids when I take Ollie to a playground of a children’s museum. While there have been really cute interactions that Ollie has had with some children we don’t know (like this adorable one I wrote about in this post), for the most part, other kids get in the way.

There is a group of kids between Ollie and other kids. It includes my nieces (I haven’t written about my new niece, but now I have two!), and the special group of Ollie’s friends. This group of friends started from a social group that was formed out a breastfeeding support group. Over the past four years, Diana and these other women have continued to develop friendships and I have had the blessing of become friends with their husbands.

All of our children are friends and we have continued to get together and be an important support system for each other. Sometimes just the women hang out, sometimes it's just the guys, sometimes it’s two couples out of the group, and other times it’s all of us with our kids. Regardless of the combination of people, whenever we get together, it’s special and really important.

These kids, aren’t “other people’s children” to me. For example, we were at a children’s play area last weekend. One of these kids was walking around and another kid walked up to her and started poking here with a stick. She expressed to him that she wanted him to stop but he persisted. I physically got in this boys face and asked him to stop. He smiled at me and started making poking motions towards her and I told him with the nastiest teacher face I could muster “NO! Stop it, and GET away from her!” Scared, he run off, and then pushed another little kid over. (Don’t worry that other little kids’ mom was on top of it too).  I was ready to go with this boy and his parents.  

I’ve wiped these kids faces, picked them up when they are crying, helped them with juice boxes and watched over them happily.  These kids  are extensions of the wonderful love and friendship we feel from their parents. It’s these families that have in a large part make  parenting the joy that we experience every day. These kids are important to Ollie, they are his friends, and I value them because of what they mean to him and what they mean to their parents who I feel indebted to for their kindness.

When we are all together, it's a kind of family and these kids are all of our kids and they will always hold a place in my heart. 

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