The beautiful nephews are visiting from The Big Smoke and staying at my house. It is hard to believe that it has been three years since their birth. They turn three next Saturday. I've had a fair amount of contact with small children but there is something about small children that share your genes that is astounding. The love one feels that makes your heart squelch up and then go so huge it feels like its pushing all your other organs into one small corner is just astounding. I cannot imagine what it's like to be a mother if this is just what it feels like to be the aunt!
They are at the 'Why?' stage which is such fun. Nothing is impossible with them. I've heard stories of giant crabs crawling off the roof onto one of their legs, been explained to very seriously that while giraffes can't fly when they're small, they fly very well when they grow up and told that dragons live in Australia. All of these things make complete sense and my explanations of things (which often tend toward the ridiculous) are lapped up. It's like a three person mutual fan club.
Of course, being three comes with many challenges too. We had an early birthday party yesterday, complete with Granny-made lion cake (much fearsome roaring), many balloons festooned around the lounge and a whole bunch of noisy children. One of them got left out playing 'Catch' and was heartbroken. My heart nearly broke for him too and I had to remind myself that all that is part of growing up.
This morning I was sitting in the kitchen having tea after a particularly rigorous game of 'Hit the balloon so high it reaches the ceiling." One of their mothers had cleared up the lounge and put the balloons at the back of the desk in the lounge. Another challenge. He traipsed through to me.
Nephew: Auntie Shiny?
Nephew: Where's my big balloon?
Shiny: There. On the desk. Can't you see it?
Nephew: Yes. Can I have it?
Shiny: Of course you can. Just go and get it. (Aunt's prerogative(sp?) - I never have to say no)
Nephew: But it's too high.
Shiny: Is it? Did you try?
Nephew: No, I can't.
Shiny: Why? (forgetting the poor mite is not yet three feet tall)
Nephew: If I climb on the table to get it, I might fall down and hurt myself.
Shiny: Fair enough. Shall I come and help you?
Nephew: Yes please.
One forgets how little they are sometimes. It's hard to say no (make that impossible.) I fear I'd be a terrible mother and spoil my children. Those little faces, so unspoilt yet by humanity and the hard things that come with it. It makes me want to keep them safely inside, away from it all. Then I remember all the good things that come with humanity too and the fun to be had out there and all I can do is wish that, at least mostly, those are the bits they'll see.
World Penguin Day
1 day ago