My mother told me this week that my niece Lilly thinks I am the smartest person in the family. This news does not make her parents very happy. I don't know exactly what I did to deserve this honor but I will take and wear it proudly. When my sisters had children, I worked very hard to teach each one of them how to say my name before they learned Mama or Dada. I would sing songs to them that consisted only of Lalalalalalala thinking it would move them along to saying Lisa faster. Turns out that the "L" sound is very hard for children to say. I should have known this. When we lived in New York we had a neighbor that could not pronounce my name when he was 3 years old. He called me Weesa Wecky. His family and mine have not forgotten that to this day. I have heard from one of his sisters that he has overcome his speech impediment, thank goodness. He is 39 years old now, with children of his own, but to all them I will always be Weesa Wecky. Looking back on all of the children that I helped raise, people find it odd that I never had children of my own. When I say people I mean my family (mother, sisters, aunts). I don't have a specific reason why I never had children but honestly I have never felt childless. I started babysitting when I was 10 years old. My sister Juli once told me that she thought I would marry a fireman and have 6 children. But, then again, she wanted to be a french fry when she grew up so I am not sure that her point of view was realistic. Of course, that was when she lived on top of the refrigerator. With 6 people living in a 2 bedroom house we were always looking for a place to call our own. It wasn't out of the ordinary to find one of us in a kitchen cabinet or another living under the desk behind the television. We shared one bicycle between three of us for a while until Jill got that cool bike with the banana seat and tassels coming out of the handle bars.
Sorry, I digress.
It is no wonder that I grew up with a nurturing sense about me. I was raised by many wonderful women in my extended family. Being the third of four children, I have always had a sense of wanting what was fair and equal. To this day I like to lend a helping hand and can usually make time for almost anyone in need. Yes, I become disillusioned by reality quite often (okay, I become down right pissed off) but it doesn't stop me from being honest, standing up for what I believe in and jumping right back in. I really don't know how women today survive with a full time job, children, husband and everything that goes with it. My hat is off to each and every one of you. I like to think I could probably pull it all off some how, if I had to, but I am glad that I don't have to, honestly. I'm a pretty good "project" manager but I like my life. There is something great about being admired by the nieces and nephews for being myself (the fun, nice, smart aunt) and not having to be the "disciplinarian". Taking a good look at my own life, it appears that my grass is very green in my own backyard.