I don’t turn up at your birthday or Christmas with a swag of presents. Your parents have provided so well for you, you just don’t seem to need more ‘stuff’.
I haven’t done a good job caring for you. When Freddie was barely more than a baby I let him play in puddles in the backyard in winter. How was I to know that little kids can get hypothermia while playing so happily? You looked like you were having a wild time and I hated to disturb you. Thankfully you have great parents.
I don’t live next door. I never pop over to say “hi” or bring cake. I’ll probably never be in the audience at your school play, dance recital or graduation.
I will tell you that you can’t have that chocolate – you already have the energy of a thousand batteries, the last thing you need is more sugar.
I’m a terrible aunt.
This is not to say that I don’t love you. When we’re together, we can jump on the trampoline until our tongues hang out. We can flop in the grass for five minutes and repeat.
We can do tricks on our bikes, build cubby houses and spend the day in the pool. We can play with dolls, trucks and computers too, on rainy days. On fine days we play outside.
When you play with me you’ll get wet feet, dirty fingernails, a muddy bum and splinters that we’ll have to attack with a needle. Unless you’re a supermodel there’s no value in arriving at forty years without a scar or six.
Our time together can be about living, loving and camaraderie. It’s not a gift that packs nicely into a box.
If you should come to me one day and say, “I want to learn to scuba dive,” I will be thrilled. For the world below water has given me some of the greatest joys of my life and what more could I want than to share it with you?
I’m a terrible aunt. But I love you all to bits.
Auntie Ali XXOO