Five pieces of niece wisdom gathered at a family party recently:
1. Tables are great for hiding under to eat stolen strawberries.
I need to sit under tables more often, what a change of perspective! Also strawberries definitely taste better when you are not sitting at the table properly. Whilst joining my niece Summer under the said table, I was taken back to a wish I had when I was little, to build secret houses under tables. I wanted to use blankets and table clothes and fill my new space with a multitude of cushions and cuddly toys. For some reason I never did. I can’t say that I was ever stopped from doing so but neither did anyone want to help me build a table house. I may well have to make my own den under our dining room table and have a poetry reading for one in there. This may sound just a little crazy but don’t we all secretly want to make cosy hide aways to cocoon ourselves in? I dare you to join me.
2. You can never have too many strawberries and they must be devoured immediately.
Summer is, as you can tell, strawberry mad and eats them with such delight, such passion. She is fully in the moment with those juicy berries, not thinking about later on when the strawberries have gone, or what her mum will say when she has indeed eaten the whole lot whilst leaving her sandwiches. When joy presents itself, dive in my friends!
3. Some pieces fit straight away when you are doing a puzzle, others you have to keep turning and some pieces you may have to swap completely. Trying to bang the wrong piece into the hole doesn’t work.
I watched Casey for ages as she figured out the puzzle by herself at the grand old age of two. I like the idea of learning to see situations as puzzles to work out instead of as crises or feeling an utter loss of control in a situation. Patience and perseverance and a willingness to change things - oh yes, more of this please.
4. Trust takes time.
Casey has taken some time to warm up to me. Whilst Summer flings her arms around me with abandon, Casey peaks nervously from behind her mother’s legs. She just isn’t quite sure what to make of me. She used to, in fact, cry each time she saw me. Often this made me feel sad as I love that little girl to pieces. But I knew I couldn’t give in, for I take auntiehood most seriously. And it finally paid off at the party, when she actively chose to spend time with me, handing me puzzle pieces and pointing to her board. This week, as soon as she saw me she brought a book over and placed herself in my lap, looking at me expectantly. My heart melted.
5. When the Summer of 69 plays you must get up and dance.
Summer grabbed my hands and pulled me forwards as soon as the first notes had aired, her body already in beat with the guitar. Self conscious she was not! Self conscious I was, bearing in mind that until this point there had been nobody on the dance floor and that I am a complete introvert when it comes to these kinds of things. But you know what, what does it actually matter what others may be thinking, when the cheesy rock is fabulous and you have a little girl turning herself into a rock chick :) I need to work on that sense of humour a little and learn to shrug my shoulders.