This trip has caused me to ruminate on the issue, however. On our way to Waco from Houston we stopped at MacDonalds. As we were leaving another little child, possibly 4 or 5, tried to follow us out the door sans parents. I held it open for her, as it seemed to be the polite thing to do. Mother-in-law had quite a different reaction: she prevented the child (by position, not by touching the child) from leaving MacDonalds and inquired where the child's parents were. A somewhat harrassed looking father was not far behind the child and was very grateful to mother-in-law for not letting his daughter saunter out of MacDonalds. I felt rather bad because apparently I have no mothering instincts unless it concerns my own child.
The other incident occurred later that night. The Orclette and I went along with mother-in-law to eat dinner with friends of hers. The friends had two small girls and m-i-l warned me that they were very expressive. This did not prepare me for the little 5 year old running up to me and hugging me. Cute, right? At least to normal people. I, however, did not think "Cute" but "get this child off of me." And the Orclette, once she warmed up to the girls, loved them. That was fine, and I was fine supervising their play to make sure nothing happened, but the little girls tried to talk to me. I don't like talking to children. They tried to show me their books, they wanted to demonstrate their guitar-playing ability ... this arouses the deepest dread. Whereas m-i-l ADORES children and will listen to them for hours. My mother gets along very well with almost all children and doesn't mind interacting with them.
I think I inherited my dad's approach to children. Which is pretty much to pretend they don't exist until they hit the teenage-years (except for his own children, of course). But anytime I have misgivings and doubts I remember that God knew what he was doing when he gave the Orclette and child #2 to me and that perhaps they need a mother like me. One who only likes them. (And a select and very small number of other people's children. But then most of my friends don't have children) This makes me feel somewhat better.
Trip update: we're currently in Waco but will be leaving for SC tomorrow. Damm is done with basic and he and his platoon are utterly bored sitting around waiting for their graduation. He has requested I bring him diet coke and that I take him to IHOP. Apparently they've been inflitrating his dreams of late. I am still in perfect health, still doing my yoga, and have been told by numerous people that I'm a tiny pregnant person. This is hard for me to believe as I KNOW I've gotten bigger this past week. Certain things that were easy last week are difficult to do this week. I can tell we're coming to the end :D