Apologies for the radio silence, I know it has been a while since my last blog post, but it seems that life is just getting in the way of my blog! Recently I had my Sister, her husband, and my gorgeous niece to stay on vacation from Australia, I took 10 days off work just so that I could maximise the precious time I had with them before I had to make a tearful goodbye.
The last time I saw my niece she was a babe in arms, she had just started crawling, and so, my mouth was agape when I saw how much she had grown in a year, and is now a fully fledged walking, talking toddler of nearly 2 years. As I don’t have any kids (and by kids I mean, children, little people, not Dave, who will eternally be the big kid!) it was a great learning curve having a 21 month old in the house.
I know that Mothers always try to impart some practical words of wisdom to those that are even entertaining the notion of having children, but you seriously dont “get it” until you are living with kids under your roof 24/7. I just recently discovered that Kids ARE ACTUALLY hard work!! I know my sister and brother-in-law were physcially and emotionally DRAINED from having the baby in their room for the entire holiday, added to which a week of sickness resulted in being woken every 2 hrs during the night, I could see the lack of sleep taking its toll, they had only enough energy to sit in a blissful catatonic state staring at the TV when they finally put her to bed and the end of the day. You are just so damn tired that all other things aside from the happiness of the child is just not a priority (and yes, that does sometimes include personal hygiene) but then, when she voluntarily throws her arm around you, or when she calls out your name looking for you to play with her, or when she sings her own little song in the bath, or when you can hear chubby little busy feet running up and down the hallway just outside your door in the wee hours of the morning, or when she squeals with delight when you turn the hairdryer on and her curls are all bouncing in the breeze, or when you go into her room after her afternoon sleep and she is sitting up in the cot with the biggest smile on her face, genuinely so happy to see you, it all vanishes and you are suddenly awash with feelings of love and benevolence, and its at that point you have the “ah ha”… I get it now, this is what life is really all about. This is what true happiness is.
It was a tearful goodbye at the airport, and even bigger tears when I returned home and opened a cupboard and found a small toy cat thoughtfully placed in a cupboard by little hands, and a hairslide stuffed inside the couch cushion and rubber ducks all lined up along the bath ready for their next adventure at bath time (little did they know it would be a while before they would be going for another dip) I did allow myself to wallow in big snotty wails for the afternoon.
So this is to all the doting Aunties out there, enjoy being the best Aunty on the planet! Below are pictures that truely capture happiness, youth, innocence and a joy. I love you.