Show and Tell: Love in Small Packages


Sticky and playful hugs and kisses and those looks … those looks that communicate intense bonding and love don’t come as often for infertiles, but when they do, well, I don’t know about you, but I live off of them for weeks. I get my fix from two nieces (11-and-three-quarters and 8-and-a-half) and two nephews (almost 12 and 9).  A boy and a girl on each side of the family. They bring me great joy. Oh, how I love to spoil them. One set lives an hour away, the other eight time zones away.

My nine-year old nephew and I share our birthday celebrations most years. We were born a day and 36 years apart, and we’re great pals. He has my dad’s impish and gregarious qualities and looks like him, too. The little guy is also a charmer as you can see from this thank-you note he wrote to us.

It’s now prominently featured on my refrigerator. Also on the fridge are photos of the four adorable ones from their earliest days until now. (Makes me think that if someone showed up at our house they’d never know by the number of kid’s photos all around that we didn’t have any of our own.)

June is chock full of birthday celebrations. This weekend my oldest nephew turns 12. Sssshhhh. I’m surprising him with a visit. As luck would have it, I have business across the pond so I’m dropping by for the weekend. Can’t wait to see the look on his face (and his sister’s). I’m so looking forward to the hugs and kisses.

See also  An "Ah Ha" Moment

Since I’ll never win Mother of the Year award, I’m working hard for Best Aunt in the World.

P.S. See more blogger Show and Tell links here.


31 Responses

  1. docgrumbles

    June 22, 2008 5:19 pm

    D has so many pics of our niece and nephew in his office that his coworkers all thought we had at least 2 kids.

    That is a great note!

  2. Lori

    June 22, 2008 6:28 pm

    What a reaffirming post. And a sweet note from your nephew.

    It takes a LOT to get a typical kid to write a letter like that. That speaks volumes for you and your husband (and your nephew!).

  3. luna

    June 22, 2008 7:08 pm

    what a wonderful note and sentiment. and how sweet you get to surprise your nephew for his bday! sounds like best aunt to me.

    and how about blogger of the year?

  4. Wishing4One

    June 22, 2008 7:10 pm

    What a wonderful piece to hang on your fridge. Isn’t it something how we appreciate so much a hand written note, a small word of thanks and even a smile from a child. Not saying those with kids don’t, but to us it means the world. I confess I have colored drawings in my fridge now from nieces here. Have fun on your surprise visit my friend. What a great Aunt you are indeed.

  5. Babystep

    June 22, 2008 9:00 pm

    That is the sweetest note. He sounds so polite! What a good boy. One thing I regret (although I have no control) is that I don’t even have any nieces or nephews. I am the end of the line. My brother opted to be childless by choice, which I find really ironic. My husband has a niece but I am not a big fan of his sister and her daughter is JUST like her. Sad, huh?

  6. loribeth

    June 22, 2008 9:00 pm

    My fridge is also covered with kids photos (especially around Christmastime). We have two nephews (dh’s brother’s sons), aged 15 & 19. We’ve always had fun spoiling them from day one, & had I known they were going to be “it,” I probably would have spoiled them even more.

    Most kids don’t write thank you notes these days (especially boys), so I’m impressed!! Enjoy your surprise visit!

  7. JuliaS

    June 22, 2008 11:27 pm

    What a very literate 9 year old! That is a great letter and definitely a treasure – bet it made you feel like a million bucks!

  8. Anla

    June 23, 2008 12:01 am

    Love the note. Small love sure does warm a big heart. Read your New York Times article and I thought you did an excellent job. I know I have been sort of a crappy Braces Bunch member but wanted to say that I appreciate all that you do for us infertile women still in the trenches. Through Awareness may we all receive guidance and help.

  9. Robyn

    June 23, 2008 12:32 am

    I’m ever so impressed by the thank you note, just don’t see them anywhere near often enough. Have a lovely surprise visit to your family, can’t wait to hear all about it.

  10. jenniferk

    June 23, 2008 12:40 am

    So nice. I’m envious. I think I would be much more comfortable with being childfree if I wasn’t an only child.

  11. brandygirl

    June 23, 2008 6:10 am

    AWWW… sweet. You’re a super star!!!!!

    p.s. I’m a virgin Show and Tell. Did my first yesterday! 🙂

  12. Miss Conception

    June 23, 2008 10:20 pm

    I’m here because I begged my readers to give me the URLs of bloggers who have been where I am. It’s been 8 years, every fertility treatment imaginable and no kids. I feel incredibly alone. Glad I was directed here today.

  13. DC

    June 24, 2008 1:35 am

    Aw, what a sweet thank you note! It sounds like you have very thoughtful nieces and nephews. 🙂

  14. Karen paul

    June 24, 2008 5:11 pm

    What a wonderful note from your nephew! You sound like a wonderful aunt! That is a very special relationship, and one to cherish for sure.

    I think it was the presence of my nieces and nephews that helped me accept my childless state.

    That is even more reason why my heart just broke in half when my brother’s son Christopher, the only child in my immediate family, was killed at age 16 by a drunk hit and run driver. I still have nieces and nephews on my hubby’s side and love them all dearly, but Chris was special.. my brother’s child..

    Thank you for sharing your nephews and nieces.. and can’t wait to hear about your surprise trip!

  15. HEIDI Fry Edelman

    June 24, 2008 9:38 pm

    I’m glad to have found this site thru The New York Times. I’ve gone thru all this for 35+yrs.
    It still hurts to go anywhere that there are kids; the supermarket, the park, any store, church, and on and on and on.

    No one ever assumes that there’s a physical problem, they just ask about your children &-when you reply that you haven’t any, you get that look that you’re selfish, you just haven’t tried enough, you’ve-somehow- made this happen.

    My beloved sister has 6, all grown now & several with their own children. Each time that I’d go out to visit them, it would take me weeks, when back at home, to begin to deal with her wealth of surrounding love. I’d cry endlessly, while loving them so much!

    The dr.s all said that there’d be No Problem, that I JUST HAD to relax. I couldn’t stand the ‘fertility dr.s’ that I found=the men. Then, I got a female dr.,JOY! She said with a distasteful look on her face..”you’re not going to try to get pregnant with that extra weight on you, are you?” I was cowed & said ‘of course not”, sheepishly.

    My own sister-in-law didn’t even believe me when I told her that I was going thru procudures. She was incredulous, when I started saying what I’d gone thru.I couldn’t figure why she’d assume that I would lie about this!

    I wish that there’d been all the info available on the internet, in magazines & on the ‘tube’-when I was desparetly trying, all alone, with No One to talk to or ask. (My husband was in Nam, which the drs. said was another reason for my ‘temporary infertility’.)People said, when we were getting divorced, “well, at least you didn’t have children, that would have connected you two forever!” &-I was supposed to SMILE in response. How truely Barbaric.

    And, when I met my current spouse, one of my parents closest friends said “you’re not trying to get pregnant with that extra weight on you?” The disparaging expression on her horrified face still curdles my stomach.

    Now, at 66, I’m still not even CLOSE to being resigned. I look much younger & still get younger women saying-‘well, you’ve still got time,’… hopefully.

    Thanks for being there,


  16. Ellen K

    June 25, 2008 1:10 pm

    Nieces and nephews certainly are agreeable creatures. : ) How lucky you are to be able to surprise them with a visit!

  17. Elizabeth

    June 27, 2008 2:58 am

    I already have the Best Aunt in the World, so that title is taken. LOL. Seriously, I have, what in the old days was referred to as a “spinster” aunt, and she was the biggest blessing to me and my family. She could afford to do fun things with us (concerts, buy us Picture Pages (!), take us shopping, that my parents couldn’t afford to do because they were, well, feeding and clothing us. And when we got older, she was such a great sounding board/resource for us. We could talk to her about anything and it was like being able to talk to your parents but better because she wasn’t exactly your parent. We never would have had THAT relationship if she had kids. I guess what I’m getting at here is that, even though she regrets to this day not having her own kids, her not having kids of her own was, in a weird way, the best thing that could have happened to my brother and me.

    That having been said, I’m very sorry that you can’t have children of your own, since you want to.

  18. Bea

    June 28, 2008 2:47 am

    That’s a great note. I’m glad you can have this relationship with your neices/nephews. Some parents are too possessive of their parenthood and/or snobbish towards the childless to let such relationships thrive.


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