Some people collect stamps, other books, coins, toy trains.
Along with my US quarters, I seem to collect Adoptees. Last count, I was up to thirty.
Who are these strange people in my life? Very simple. They’re my kids’ friends who call me ‘Mom’.
Years ago, before my ‘caboose’ was born, my original two kids were begging for another brother or sister. At the time, I thought the baby factory was closed, so I told them I’d simply adopt one of their friends whenever they came over. I never dreamed that in 2007, we’d move to a new town and become ‘Aunt Molly’ to the neighborhood kids! Turns out I was the lone stay-at-home mom, so during the summer, my house became the Official Hangout.
I helped with homework. I counseled teenagers with their relationships, when ‘My mom doesn’t understand’ or ‘I just can’t talk to my mom about this’. I fed hungry children lunch, and sometimes even dinner. I gave daily hugs to the affection-starved child next door. And some of their parents even paid me to watch their child while they worked. But most of it was volunteer, or bartered for when I needed child care.
As these children have grown up over the years, I’ve also morphed into ‘Aunt Grandma’, since a few of them had children either prematurely (while in HS) or while in long-term relationships. It distresses me to see babies having babies, but in today’s world, that’s become the norm, at least in this town. So far, only two of my adoptees are married, and a few have moved away, but they know they can reach out through FB and contact me if they need an ear, or even a swift kick in the butt.
Just ask Sam. When she broke the news to me about her pregnancy at age 17, I hugged her, smacked her on the head, hugged her again, smacked her on the head a second time (about thirty minutes later!), then hugged her a third time. Her cousin remarked I’d hit her more times than her own mother! (Not hard, mind you! And we talked about her plans, her future, and her options.)
At least the quarters I collect don’t cause me any drama!
Great News! Whispers, our newest anthology, is set to release in the next month! I have two stories in this antho….The Badass Fairies of the Wabash and Spirit Pottery. Next week, I’ll have a link to the interview I had with Opal, my misunderstood fairy. She took me for quite a ride, so see you back here next week!