The Pretender


Last night was the last evening of the great family extravaganza, the two weeks in July where my relatives on my mother’s side rent their beach houses and BBQs and extended games of wiffle ball take over our lives. It’s two weeks out of the summer that I’ve looked forward to the most since I was young; the tradition has lasted for more than ten years and I’m sure that July would not be complete without seeing the mix of cousins, aunts and uncles.
       
   Every year we kids get taller (some more than others), talk about our adventures from the past year, and the things we hope for the future. Now, I admit, sometimes I am more forgetful than I should be when it comes to birthdays and important dates, so you can imagine how stupid I felt when I realized just how old my younger cousins are. I have eleven first cousins on my mother’s side, and ten on my father’s side. I’ve always loved having a big extended family, and I’ve always said that when I grow up (when’s that going to happen, anyway?) I want to have at least four children. My dad was the oldest of seven, with six younger sisters (two daughters now, he just can’t escape the estrogen) and my mother was the second oldest of five. I can remember imagining how much fun it would be growing up in a house full of kids, more than just one sibling to run around and cause trouble with. You could have a game of tag without rounding up the neighborhood kids; you could play school and actually have more than one student! I was thrilled by the idea, and I wanted more siblings. So. Incredibly. Bad. Naturally, I didn’t always get what I wanted: I was stuck with just one measly little sister, and mute stuffed animals for students.  
            Today, being the wise 22 year old that I am (ha!), I can see now that if I had even just one more sibling, the relationship I have with my sister, Sarah, wouldn’t be the same. The entire dynamic of my family would change, and I would probably be a different person. It’d be a different life, really, and I’m realizing now that I wouldn’t trade the life I’ve had for anything else. Sarah’s my biff; if we had another sib added to our midst, we probably wouldn’t be as weird as we are. Or maybe we’d be weirder. Who knows? All I know is that I love my Sarah, and my parents made the right choice in having two kiddos.
            As I go forth into my own future, and ascend into “adulthood,” I still hold onto the dream of having a few little chubby babies, even though I tell everyone “Oh my God, I’m never having kids. I’m never getting married.” Well, here’s the thing: that’s the biggest lie I have ever, ever muttered. I’m only pretending. I act like I don’t want a happy-ever-after-marriage with beautiful children because it’s all I’ve ever wanted. Besides becoming a well-known writer and bringing light into people’s lives all over the world, having a family is something that I have always wanted. But what if I don’t get it? What if God’s like, “Uh, yeah…that’s not written in your book, Kerry.”???? We’re gonna have a big fight, then, Mister. 
            It's all a cover up, I guess, a protection of sorts. If you pretend that you don't want it, it won't hurt as bad if you don't get it. Right?
            I suppose if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. (There’s nothing more frustratingly true than that statement.) But I know that I’ve already got a wonderful family, extended and immediate. So even if I don’t end up having the things I truly want, I can look around me and realize that I already have so much



1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written post and such a simple, but extremely important message! Thanks for reminding me how lucky I am to live the life I have been given

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