I have always *always* wanted to be an auntie. Never wanted my own children, but always wanted a niece or nephew.
In my teens I would joke with my sister that I was going to be the cool, fun, auntie who would screech to a halt outside her house in my little red sports car, toot the horn for my delighted niece to join me then whizz her away for a day of fun, treats and general spoiling. Then I'd drop her off at the end of the day, exhausted and happy, and roar into the distance, to a glamorous party full of interesting people and gorgeous men.
My life isn't the glamour-fest I imagined in my youth (although, let me tell you, I can ROCK a fleece onesie) but I have the most lovely little niece that I could ever have wished for. She is cute beyond words, funny, bright and extremely loving. I adore her, even if she is a cheeky little madam and too used to getting her own way! She's a pretty little thing, too.
This year, for the first time, she chose and wrote my birthday card all by herself.
When we met in the restaurant on my birthday, she rushed up towards me clutching two pink envelopes: "Auntie Nicki, Auntie Nicki, we've got two cards for you. This one's from mummy and this one's from me." She proceeded to tear open the envelope. "Look, isn't it cute?! It's the cat's birthday and the birdy is giving him a flower." As she said this, Izzie clenched her fists and pressed them excitedly against her mouth; her eyes were sparkling and she did one of those quick little knee-bend bobs that people do when they are really excited and can't stand still. "Isn't it so pretty, Auntie Nicki, is it your favourite?"
I don't like to pick favourites but, yes, this card really is my favourite. I will never forget the way she presented this little card. She was unbearably cute and her enthusiasm was contagious.
I know that when she wrote the card out she would have concentrated *really* hard on writing each letter, asking her mummy how to spell 'Nicki' (I'm guessing she included the 'y' herself as she is learning phonics at school and this would have made perfect sense to her.) The little kisses at the end are an extra little flourish she would have added herself. It is the most perfect specimen of writing ever.
I realise that to most people this is all sentimental nonsense and that scribbles from your little ones are probably ten a penny. But, to me, this is everything. It is evidence of a little person in my life that I have always wanted and a relationship that I treasure.
With love and fluffy stuff,