I'm going to be a great-aunt, very soon. I attended the baby shower last night. I did not want to shop for a gift. I am a teacher, so I decided to start my great-nephew's library. I went to the bookstore and bought five classic children's books, wrapped them, and put them in a cute fabric bin to match the nursery. It was the favorite gift! And I didn't even have to walk into the baby section of the store. I'm hopeful that becoming a great-aunt will be a good experience.
This morning was a bridal shower for the fiance of DH's cousin's son, like my second-cousin-in-law? Anyway, DH and this cousin (father-of-the-groom) were close growing up and the groom was named after my DH. We do things with this cousin and his wife, so it isn't as strange as it seems to be invited. I didn't know anyone on the bride's side, and I ended up sitting by an older woman who turned out to be the bride's grandmother. We had a good conversation for a while. At one point she asked me, "So do you have any grandchildren?" That is the first time I have been asked that question. Do I look old enough to have grandchildren? Maybe? Maybe she thought I was about the same age as her daughter (mother-of-the-bride) who is a grandma.
I responded that we were never able to have children. She proceeded to tell me she understood and that her two daughters were adopted. It ended up being a great discussion, and I look forward to visiting with her again at the wedding in a couple of weeks.
I'm handling this all much better than I did four years ago when we first closed our adoption file. I want to be able to hold my coming great-nephew without crying. I want to be able to have relationships with the young children in our extended families. I also want to enjoy the freedom that comes with living childfree and be proud of having a career where I do well and am respected.