Some people may think I'm anti-kid because of my zero tolerance for bad behavior.
I just remember when I was a child, and when my brothers and cousins were small, that on our worst days we were still better behaved than the kids people drag into restaurants, stores and other public places these days. We were taught to defer to adults, to look them in the eye and listen when they spoke to us and to not interrupt when adults were talking. Can't say that about a lot of kids now. (And stay off my lawn too, you little whippersnappers!)
I'm probably a little biased, but my friends' kids are wonderful. Today I had the pleasure of taking 13-year-old Erin, my friend Heather's daughter, to see the Community Playhouse's production of "High School Musical."
My friend Wendy's daughter, Kristen, 15, was in the play. I was bursting with pride to have Erin, who is wonderfully smart and articulate, with me and also to see the talented Kristen singing and dancing on stage.
These kids are good to me. My friend Misty's daughter, Nai'a, along with Kristen, call me Aunty Jenny. They like to pose for pictures with me at get-togethers and Kristen and Erin even think I dress pretty cool.
I loved spending time with my cool Aunt Dawnie when I was younger. She is almost a decade younger than my mom and other aunt and made us laugh by singing us funny songs. She paid me by the page to read to her as she practiced for her stenographer classes. I always loved that. It made me feel special. I'd like to think, because I was the only girl in our four-kid group of brothers and cousins, that I was her favorite.
I may never have children of my own, and that's OK. I'm glad that my friends, wonderful moms themselves, and their children let me play the cool aunt from time to time. I hope I'm carrying on the tradition of my own Aunt Dawnie.