Meet Auntie Shady: Unlicensed Doctor And Bee Lobbyist

Tomorrow is our housewarming party, and a surprising portion of friends from all corners of the Midwest are trekking our way. We couldn't be more pleased to be welcoming them - but one in particular showed up a few days early. My friend Shady - Sade Barfield, Director of Individual Events at University of Northern Iowa - came to help me put together the finishing touches. And by the finishing touches, I mean - paint my living room and kitchen with me in a mad dash to finish everything before tomorrow afternoon. Basically, you couldn't ask for a kinder soul to be your friend. Why willingly volunteers to PAINT?

My kids know Shady as "Auntie Shady" - or, to Shep, "Aunteeeeee". Shady has long been a lover of babies, and quite the charmer with the four-and-under crowd. Because I'm constantly amazed at how *little* I know about raising kids before I had them (conveniently....), I'm  interested to know what Shady knows - or thinks she knows - about being a mother.

Where do babies come from?

S: Your heart.

A: *stares at Shady* Ok, I'm not going to be able to handle the cuteness.

What's a good reason to have children?

S: You think that it is possible for you to give a good life to a kid.

A: So it has nothing to do with reliving your senior prom vicariously through a more attractive version of yourself?

S: That does not seem incongruous with giving a good life to a kid. *shrugs*

What's the part of motherhood you're most looking forward to someday?

S: I am deeply attracted to thankless tasks. And that seems to be the bulk of motherhood.

A: *cackles* Yeah, you're going to love it. There's a lot to love if that's what you're into.

What is the hardest part of motherhood?

S: Knowing that you can't do the hard things for them.

A: Yeah, it's hard to watch them fall - and right now, my kids are only physically falling, not symbolically. Which is....even harder. It's even harder because I know that doing the hard thing for them would actually be detrimental to them in the long run. So I just have to....watch it happen. Like a car crash. I hope not a literal car crash.

Giving birth - thoughts?

S: You accept the risk when you put on the badge. Yeah, it seems horrifying. I've never heard a "oh, ok, that's fine" kind of thing out of it. It's always completely devastating to...to your lowers. But - you get a baby at the end! So - SOLD!

A: I'm afraid I've scarred you. I promise that even if your lowers get jacked all to hell, you can figure it out and probably go on with your life with no real serious permanent...effects.

S: That's very sweet of you to lie.

What do you love about babies?

S: I have spent my entire life chasing horizon lines, always looking for something perfect that is just out of reach. And that is how I think of babies. They're these perfect magnificent things, and you don't get to see that all the time - and everything you do is just in hopes for tomorrow or some unnamed date in the future. And so they're the ultimate horizon line.

A: That's really beautiful. And I've never really considered how a hot-buttered-popcorn-smelling blowout could be perfection. But. Yeah. I mean. I guess it is. Comes with the badge, right?


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