Kids, Souvenirs, & Hair

Train children in the right way,
   and when old, they will not stray. (Proverbs 22:6)

As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mom. I’m 32 years old, single, and not a mom, by the way. I grieved this hard for a few weeks before I turned 30 a couple of years ago, and then got over it. You see, right now, I get to be something better until I find the right partner for me and if we decide we want children together. I get to be an emo (Korean for auntie).

So no, my sister and brother do not have kids yet (Linda & Craig, I never say it, but I’m waiting), but I get to be Irene emo to two of the most lovable girls! Four-year-old, N, and 2-year old, H. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you know their faces. I heart these girls.

I met N when she was a wee 2 months old, and H was placed into my arms without hesitation on the day she was born. I’ve had the privilege of being in their lives and being a true “Irene emo” to them, even though I’m not blood related. I’m not sure if their parents really understand how amazing it is for me to be entrusted with the lives of their daughters and to help care for them and watch them grow.

That said, the whole being entrusted and also as an adult figure who is supposedly “teaching them the right way,” I’m pretty sure a lot of what I have taught them is to be spoiled and lavished on in life. Yes, this was intentional. After all, I’m NOT mom or dad, I’m the emo! I get to spoil them, take them out for secret desserts, and play in the park. I love buying them gifts for good reasons like their birthdays or Christmas, but also for no reason at all. I think of them wherever I go, and always try and bring them back a souvenir. It’s my duty and joy as emo to the girls.

I think Momma was getting worried about this and how it might be affecting her children…not only by me, but being spoiled by others as well (they are super charming and adorable). Well, apparently, I’m setting somewhat of a good example…

They just returned from a trip to Seattle, and the first thing N did when she got back was bring me souvenir stickers that she had picked out for me from her visit to the Space Needle. Why? Apparently, she told her mom, “Whenever ‘appa’ (daddy) or my emo’s travel, they think about me and get me something. So I want them to know I thought about them too.”

You see, all the gifts and spoiling we do have taught her to also be thoughtful…this is what I was telling myself…but it was confirmed today.

Remember my last post about why I cut my hair?

Well, when I went home, I showed N and H the hair I had chopped off and explained to them that I was planning on donating it. When N asked me why, I explained that there are kids who are sick and their hair falls out and they need hair, so they make them into wigs so that they can have hair too. Like a typical 4-year-old, she was like, “Oh” and then went along her way.

Today, I decided to spoil them spontaneously again. N really wanted to go to a kids haircut place and get her hair trimmed/cut. I thought it was for the cool cars and toys that are there (and I’m sure part of the motive was just that), so we got Mama’s permission and started to get ready to go.

But get this… she asked if she could donate her hair!

My heart melted. She really really wanted to do it, and we had to explain to her that not even her mom could donate her hair because it wasn’t long enough yet. (Mind you, she’s just now getting enough hair to cover her head).

It inspires me that even as I spoil and love on these girls as ’emo,’ that it’s never too early to teach them how to be compassionate, loving, and giving. It also reminds me that SO much of how I do this is by example. That freaks me out and motivates me.

Yes, I want to be a mom–but I am so incredibly thankful for the gift of being emo for now. It’s amazing and challenging and beautifully fulfilling.

My hope and prayer is that I can continue to nurture these girls into women whose hearts are as beautiful as they are.



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