I usually pride myself
With having the ability
To work with children
At different ages and from different places
I was born to care for children
Being the third child out of six
Meant there were three little humans
For me to help mommy and daddy with
I loved it
Being a big sister
Gave me a sense of responsibility
I would not have otherwise known
Now as an adult I find myself
Being the big sister
To children who look nothing like me
Speaking to mothers who aren't mine
I've slept in homes that my dad didn't walk
Into after a long day of work
I've eaten food that was not prepared by my
Mother    watched children birthed by others
As I write this poem
I find myself sitting on a children's sized
Forest green bench outside at a playground
They run in the sand pit and in the mulch
They grab two of my large fingers
With their tiny hands and pull me to the swings
Asking me to push them so high they giggle
In reality they're not going high at all
Their hands are too small to grab the massive
Chain holding the swing to its metal roots
As I push they grow in laughter
As I push they grow in excitement
I think of the times I repressed parenthood
How the thoughts of conception scared me
I say often how childcare is THEE perfect contraceptive
Yet as I sit and watch these children play
As I think of how they need a hug
And a kiss when they fall
I can't help but feel my six year old self
Watching my younger siblings with joy
I can't ignore the longing I have to teach
Not just children who don't belong to me
But maybe even teach children whom I birth
Teach and show love not only to strangers
But to some small human
Who undeniably looks like mommy
Who unmistakably acts like daddy
Who is the perfect combination of us both