I can’t remember a time when you haven’t both been an integral part of my life although it was as small babies that you both sneaked in and overnight I became Fabulous Auntie D. I certainly wasn’t ready for the practicalities of two small children even if they did look like little angels whilst behaving in a manner which dictated otherwise. I fumbled my way through several of your younger years learning as I went along with a spoonful of Calpol for you and a few more for me. Even now disposable nappies remain one of life’s great mysteries for me along with pushchair assembly. Whatever lessons you learned from me, I learnt a shedload more from you. You taught me the joy of discovery and the delight in simple pleasures like finding a caterpillar amongst the clover. There were many tears and tantrums and you had a few as well but along with those were moments of pure joy which I will hold in my heart forever.
I recall your first days at nursery and how reluctant you were to leave your new-found friends at home time. Your first unsure steps at your new school, wearing uniforms that were much too big for you and when at the gates you looked back at me for reassurance, I beamed a smile that didn’t quite match the lump in my throat.
As you grew into teenagers, our once easy relationship deteriorated into door slamming and overnight I became a “life ruiner” as my darling little girls were replaced by unrecognizable strangers who spoke an unfamiliar language that I couldn’t comprehend. I was no longer a super hero but a mere mortal who had somehow lost her Mary Poppins status overnight and neither was I practically perfect in every way anymore. Suddenly I was out of a job; just like that, leaving a hole in my heart the size of Yorkshire. Although inevitable, it was hard discovering that I had been discarded for shopping trips to the mall and ice skating with your buddies.
I watch you now imagining the amazing young women that you will become and wonder what will you remember? The all-weather picnics, our special cinema days, camping in the back garden or the Christmas Day lunch when we all sat down to eat with nit mousse in our hair.
As you continue your journey into adulthood, my wishes for you are jewelled rainbows after heavy rain, a hand to hold in time of need, a sighting of land after a journey on a stormy sea, a shining light to help you find your way home and a heart that beats in time with your own. But know this, you will always be my little angels and I want you to understand that wherever you go and whatever you do, I will always be here whenever life is unkind to you because at the end of the day that’s what aunties do best!