Monday, December 2, 2013

Feeling Out of Place Within My Own Family

There I was surrounded by screaming kids running in and out of the house, chasing each other. “Stop running in the house. You’re going to break something,” someone yelled. There were kids everywhere. To the left of me was a mother wiping her son’s nose. Directly in front of me was a mother changing her newborn’s diaper. And to the right of me was my nephew. His little 2-year-old self was stretching his arm with his entire might to reach for a cupcake on the counter.
As I sat at a table watching Moms and Dads interact with each other and their kids, I asked myself, “Why am I here? None of these kids are mine.” I was at my 5-year-old cousin Daniel’s birthday party. And even though I was surrounded by family, I felt completely alone and out-of-place. I was the only person at the party without a husband or child. It was like I was an outsider within my own family.
The majority of my cousins are all married and have kids, and I couldn’t help but think I had missed the boat. With each child’s birthday party I attended, I noticed this lonely feeling was becoming all too frequent. In order to protect my feelings, I promised myself I would no longer attend any children’s parties. It seemed pointless for me to be there without a child of my own.
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