I'm on the far side of 40 didn't get to have children of my own, so I should be sitting on my front porch, quietly breathing obscenities at the kids I'm pretty sure are playing Pokemon Go down the sidewalk, but instead, I'm being astounded at the amazing people my near and dear are bringing into this world.
Between now and Friday, I'm learning how Rugby 7s is played, since I'd like to look like less than a dotty old aunt when my lovely niece kicks some butt at the Ontario Summer Games with her team. This kid nearly made it onto the Ontario team, keeps a straight-A average, devours fiction and paints terrific little landscapes when she needs to chill out.
Last Friday, a knock on my door brought a surprise visit from a cousin who lives in Calgary and his two children, both of whom, even though they're 9 and 7, can tell complete and funny anecdotes about their lives, who sat patiently while the grownups talked and were generally a delight.
Saturday, I watched in awe as another niece's five children played in a creek at our family reunion, the older ones keeping an eagle eye on the baby twins as they toddled about, one of the little girls charming my Sweetie by jumping into his lap for a cuddle, after being astounded that she and he share a first name. The three older kids, all younger than seven, dutifully made the rounds saying goodbye to us old farts as they headed home, with a, 'it was nice seeing you" said with full eye contact and hugs.
Later in the day, the nine year old daughter of another friend astounded me with a delightful story told with a beginning, middle and end, a punchline and no 'um's or 'ah's. She was charming and articulate and pretty much adorable.
With 90 days left to the US election, I've been fretting about the future of North America and indeed, the world, but I somehow think, with the band of smart, merry and kind young folk I saw this weekend, we might be just fine.