Lucky me, I wasn’t in limbo for long. Good old Aunt Flo showed her ugly face just two days after my last post. As usual, she kicked my ass, but, thankfully, she waited until after a super fun Friday afternoon with my nephews. Just barely. It was on the short drive home after dropping them off that the unbearable cramps and backache began. By the time I crawled up the two flights to my apartment, I was in tears. I popped some Percocet left over from my laparoscopy in October, showered, and watched TV as a sweet wave of happy relaxed my body and flooded my brain.
But, before my uterus attempted to self-destruct, I had an awesome afternoon at the amusement park with my nephews, Bean (7) and Luigi (4). (Not their real names, which should be obvious, but people come up with such
stupid odd unique names these days, I thought I should clarify. Bean is short for “jumping bean,” and Luigi is for the kid obsessed with the Mario Brothers, Luigi being his favorite.) Poor Luigi, really really really wanted to drive the go-carts and bumper cars, but even for a 4-year-old, he’s quite small. He accepted the news gracefully, though, and made the most of the teacup ride (which left auntie’s stomach churning), kiddie roller coaster, and bouncy house.
Funny story…. Last summer, my sister arranged for an inflatable bouncy house at our family reunion. In order to stay inflated, it had to be plugged into a power source the entire time. Well, this is potluck territory, which means there were no fewer than 10 crockpots all plugged into the only outlet at the park (via an intricate system of extension cords and power strips). Every so often, the outlet would overload, causing the motor to quit working on the bouncy house and the entire thing would deflate instantly – with kids still inside it! The supervising adults would yell for the kids to exit NOW, wait for it to re-inflate, then start the whole process over again. The kids thought it was hilarious, the parents didn’t seem concerned, but I was stressed out the entire time. From that day on, whenever Luigi sees an inflatable bouncy house, he asks, “Is it going to fall?” It doesn’t deter him from having fun.
Bean ran into a few friends from school, so, being the cool aunt, I let him run wild with them for a while. He schooled them on the go-carts, and fearlessly rode all the “scary” rides. (It’s a mild amusement park, even by podunk standards. There’s not a single ride a 7-year-old can’t ride.) Bean is such an awesome big brother that he made time to ride the kiddie roller coaster a few times with Luigi, even though he was almost too big to fit in the seat.
It was a beautiful afternoon, and I had the best time with my boys. There were a few moments when my heart broke a little watching all the parents with their kids, desperately wishing I was one of them. One of the employees referred to me as “mom,” which made me feel both happy and sad at the same time. I didn’t bother to correct him.
I’m so grateful that I had that wonderful afternoon with truly the best two kids you can imagine, because it made the disappointment of another failed cycle a little more bearable. It’s not the same as having my own kids, but I’m so very thankful that I get to play an active role in their lives, not just as the aunt who spoils the hell out of them, but also as a teacher and a guide. I know that even if I can’t have kids of my own, I do have the opportunity to impart some of my values and knowledge to my nephews, which they will then (hopefully) pass along to the next generation in some way.