That's right. Like a children library of sorts...you know, check them out, spoil them, love them, then give them back; that's the way for tons of folks I know. What sparks this? You ask good questions, so I'll tell you:
A couple years ago I found it odd my mother could be so close to a kid who isn't any relation to her at all. I identify with loving children, but I've never been so attached to someone else's children that I practically could be a family member...until now. So, the moral of this story is that I get it; I finally understand the attachment, and I finally understand that the titles we attach to family members extend far beyond blood lines. I mean, I kind of always knew this, but my being 31 with no kids of my own has really made me see that I don't currently need my own children to feel like I have some of my own.
Dax: man he's cute. This little booger loves my parents like he loves his own, and he probably thinks that my sister is his sister. His momma is like a fourth child to my mom, and I like her, so that works out ;) When my mom wanted to put his picture in a frame and keep it in the house, I flipped. It wasn't because I had a true aversion to her love for the little guy: it was because I sort of felt like my parents had given up hope on their 30-something child to have kids herself. Not true, by the way.
Lily, Cora, and James: My Nana is seriously the coolest lady around. I wish she lived closer because she and I could get into a lot of trouble together! She's one of the best grandmothers running, and with something ridiculous like 17 grandchildren and a nice handful of greats, she's a busy lady. The problem: we all live out of town. So, this sweet military couple who lives next door to her has adopted her and my Papa Leonaaaaaaaaard (as the greats so loudly sang at the Christmas celebration last week) as their own. Those kids love Ms. Helen like a grandmother because she loves them back. Their grandparents are scattered all over the country, so they don't have my luxury of growing up at Nanny's and Nana's and G.G.'s houses. I'm happy that they have my Nana because she's awesome, and they make her happy.
My Nanny: This woman kept children for as long as I can remember (even before that when my mom was young) and even up until about two years before she passed. She loved every kid the same, and they all called her Nanny. Food and hugs. There's nothing else to say about her except that there is no one like her in the world, and I argue that no woman will EVER manage her greatness.
You're probably wondering why I've told you all of this. You ask good questions, so I'll tell you:
Drew and Anna Kate: OMG. I love these kids. They love me. We love one another. They even gave me a cool bracelet for Christmas that says "aunt" on it. And that's when I got it. The insert in the box said something about an aunt being a person who loves you and is there for you but isn't necessarily related to you in any way. That's me! They have lots of "aunts" and "uncles," but that's ok. All that means is that they have tons of folks who love them and want them to grow up to be great little humans.
So, McCrory children, Sutton Simmons, Coomer Children, Yarbrough Children...ANY children who need borrowing and don't mind a cool "aunt," I'll check you out; I'll love you; I'll give you back to your parents when you're sugared up and crazy. :) If you can love other children like your own, why not?