At the age of 11, I saw the movie Charlotte’s Web (the one where Debbie Reynolds is the voice of Charlotte) for the very first time. Not long after that, I saw the movie Babe and from there on in, I wanted a piglet to love and cherish. Preferably one with the gift of speech.
I have lived in suburbia my entire 34 years of existence and because of this, and various other practical (yet deeply unfair) reasons, the longing for my very own piggy chum has hither to, remained unrequited. Or has it?
As you might remember from previous blog posts, I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of my nephew. For the record, no one actually new he would be a boy, except me. I have been saying it all along. I am very excited to report that six weeks ago (at time of writing) the esteemed David Geoffrey was born. Lucky for him he bears no resemblance to his Aunty Nina, although (at least for the time being) we are almost the same height.
Anyway a few weeks ago, ironically whilst tucking into Mum’s roast pork (what can I say? I really love pigs) the family and I began a conversation about Chinese Star Signs. I was born in 1984, which makes me a rat. 2019 is the year of the pig. My darling nephew is the piglet I have always wanted! Using Charlotte’s Web as the metaphor, does that make me Templeton? Not sure how I feel about that.
I can now admit that David’s impending arrival did fill me with a slight sense of fear. I was afraid that being in such close contact with him so often would result in an overwhelming urge for me to have children of my own, an urge I have never really had to date. It did not, thank goodness.
It is not that I do not like kids. On the contrary, I love David and I will never pass up the opportunity for a cuddle with him. I am just not maternal.
This gives me mixed feelings. On the one hand, guilt because I will not make Damion a Daddy, provide my parents with extra grandchildren or cousins for David. On the other hand resentment because I am vindicating those who feel (and are not shy in telling me), that as a disabled woman I have no business being a mother. If I am honest this is the stronger of the two feelings, but I am not about to get pregnant out of spite!
As it turns out, one of my personal inspirations, Jane Austen was herself, a proud (and childless) Aunty who (from what I have read) chose to be so in spite of or perhaps because of societal opinions. I suspect the criticism she received was the opposite to mine though.
PerhapsJane and I have more in common than just a birthdate and a love of writing.