Every mom needs a stand-in

Last weekend, my family and I drove up to Utah to visit with some family members and friends, among them two sisters and a nephew. We got to hang out with them and just have fun. The girls really enjoy spending time with their family members. We spent the most time, about three solid days all together, with my oldest nephew, whom we only get to see maybe once a year. He’s a fun guy. My third daughter has been a huge fan of his since she was about six years old. Now she’s ten and she adores him more than ever; I think she could sew herself to him permanently and be completely happy.

For a whole weekend, Cami was rarely apart from her oldest cousin.

The lovely thing about this situation isn’t just that it’s really cute and sweet to see them together; it warms my heart. But an added bonus is that I get a reprieve for a while from being the one person that my children glom onto. We have about 2200 square feet in our house, and five whole bedrooms. Each daughter gets her own room. But if I’m in the kitchen, all the children surround me there. If I’m in my bedroom or even the master bathroom, the children are swarming me there. If I sit down on the couch, at least three people set their little bottoms down on the couch too. The whole rest of the house becomes wasted space, because we’re inhabiting about 12 square feet. I often feel as if I’m encircled by a swarm of gnats much like those that beleaguered me as a child in muggy summertime Pennsylvania.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my girls. I love hugs and kisses and talking to them and listening to the cute and smart things they say. They awe me. But sometimes every person, including a mother, needs some quiet time, some personal space. Children aren’t very adept at respecting personal space.

This is where it’s fun to see someone else being swarmed by my cute little gnats. Over the weekend, it was my nephew. The second he walked in the door, they all zoomed to his immediate vicinity and cried out in one loud, enthusiastic chorus: “Craig!!!” They glommed onto him like flies to sticky paper. At mealtimes, they all wanted to sit next to him. I became a distant memory. It was wonderful to watch and it was wonderful to all of a sudden have some personal space. It was magic.

Every mom needs a Cousin Craig, someone their kids will flock to, someone they adore and will follow around. I just wish my nephew were closer. I could use some personal space more often than once a year. Thanks for being my stand-in!

Author: Cathy Carmode Lim

I'm a copy editor, writer, and book reviewer with three decades of experience. My book review website is RatedReads.com. I'm a mom of four and grandma of three.

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