||[Sep. 19th, 2004|09:13 am]
Contented Aunts and Uncles
From something I just wrote in my own journal:|
I've actually saved every comment about my Fletcher icon (almost every day I get one comment saying, "squee, I remember Fletcher, I loved that book!" or something similar) because I wanted to go back and paste in a reply to each about how I came to use it, but lost track of how long it had been since I'd been getting the comments. So I just went back and replied to saved comments (by doing a search in my LJ mailbox) from April until this week. In doing so, I found myself making a response in an old thread:
I didn't read the All of a Kind Family books until I was an adult. I had great books, but I didn't know about huge chunks. I read Twain and Dickens and every single Oz book and Horatio Hornblower and My Friend Flicka, and I read anything my sixth grade teacher put in my hands, and I read Agatha Christie and Kipling and all the Trixie Belden (pure trash, but I loved it) available at the time, and the Five Little Peppers and How They Grew, and the Little House books, but I never heard of CS Lewis or Madeleine L'Engle or Susan Cooper or the Boxcar Children or the All of a Kind Family until I grew up. I think my mom knew about the books she'd read, but was missing most of what was published from World War II on, and a fair chunk of random other books.The whole world knows I want children, and I swear, one reason is so that I can go through all of the books I loved as a child, in an intimate, couch-cuddling setting, and watch the child grow and change and love and talk about the books over time.
I'm not really one of those "contented aunts" who loves children and is happy to be childless. I'm not in agony over choices I've made that keep me childless (and probably ensure future childlessness) but I sometimes sigh about it, and listing those books brings up the sighing.
I wish I lived closer to my nieces and their children. One of them is fairly reachable and stable, but lives two days' drive away. She turns 30 in a few days, eep! I've never met her two children. The other one isn't very reachable. In our family's weird "tradition," her life is in near constant upheaval and she's in only sporadic touch. I've met her kids once, and they seem pretty nifty. I find myself wanting to take care of her kids, so they won't grow up the way she did, with chaos.
I just realized as I typed this that I'm almost afraid to get close to them, as they might be taken away from me, only to return in a few years entirely different children than what I was expecting.