We all have that “crazy aunt” in the family. You know the one. She’s sort of the black sheep but you find her oddly cool, outrageously boisterous, funny, crafty, adventurous and on occasion, scary. Well, I recently discovered that to my niece, I’m THAT aunt.
Me? Okay, so maybe I’m not completely surprised by that. In fact, I’m a bit flattered. I’m the crazy aunt, SWEET! So, being the crazy aunt is cooI and my ultimate goal is to be the favorite aunt especially if the honor is bestowed upon me by my favorite niece. (For the record, it’s okay to pick a favorite niece, it’s just not okay to pick a favorite child. At least not out loud. Just throwing that disclaimer out there, folks.)
Any who, every year on my oldest sister’s, youngest daughter’s birthday I promise her some rare, one-on-one time with her favorite aunt — ME! Okay so she’s never actually called me her favorite aunt but I know I am. How do I know you might ask? Well, because I called it. You know like calling shot gun—FAVORITE AUNT!!! It could also be because she’s the only one of my many nieces and single nephew that enjoy spending time alone with me, but that’s just splitting hairs if you ask me.
This past summer my cutie turned double digits. No longer a baby, but not quite a teen. She’s officially a tween. HURRAY! Every year on her birthday I present her with an open invitation; wherever she wants to go, whatever she wants to do, just say the word and I’m there! She never forgets and always cashes in on that promise. In the past our birthday time together included trips to Friendly’s or jaunts to Ben & Jerry’s, but this year her request was surprisingly different. She decided she wanted to go to a fancy restaurant and eat sushi with chopsticks. Well, okay then! Hmm, this open invitation thing could get a bit dangerous. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that she doesn’t one day say, ‘I want to go to the dealership for a new car.’ Perhaps I should start saving just in case.
On the day of our date I called to confirm that she would be ready for a 6 p.m. departure. Of course I did this while using my most authentic British accent. She kindly responded that she would be quite prepared in her best Hermione Granger voice which sounded more like Sponge Bob mixed with Pikachu. I arrived at six on the dot to find that the child was not ready. Although she was decked out in a beautiful pink, strappy sun-dress, her feet where bare and her hair looked like she had been attacked by a bobcat. My eldest sister grinned guiltily as she handed me the hair brush. “You always do her hair so nicely so we thought we’d wait for you.” OH RE-HEALLY? Fifteen minutes later, hair was done and we went in search of her shoes. Twenty minutes later, all we could find where an old, beat up pair of greyish (white in another life) flip flops that once belonged to her older sister.
FLIP FLOPS? Great Caesar’s ghost, somebody call the National Guard. Am I the only person that feeds and clothes this kid? GEESH! “Oh, this simply won’t do!” I huffed. “It seems we must buy ye’ some new kicks, Poppet.” I said. And to this she giggled and said, “You’re crazy, Titi!” We arrived at the shoe store somewhere around 7:05 p.m., starving half to death and ready to eat the soles off the brand new Jordan’s. We picked out a perfect pair of pink Converse All-Stars.
Finally, she was the picture perfect angel and we took off to my favorite Berkshire County sushi joint. There we enjoyed an array of dumplings and an obscene mound of sweet potato rolls. If you haven’t tried them do so, they’re fricken awesome. We munched and giggled and topped it all off with fried green tea ice cream for dessert. All of which she ate with chopsticks!
As usual, conversation was incredible. I don’t know how so much maturity, poise and flawless vocabulary can be packed into a tiny 10 year old girl but she’s got it all. She was eloquent, polite and humorous. Hmm, perhaps I should hold off on calling the National Guard on her parents. I must grudgingly admit, they’ve done a pretty good job with that one.
As our night came to an end, it was finally time for me to ask the question that had been plaguing my mind for years. I shouldn’t have, but I just couldn’t resist. “Hey, Lia. Who’s your favorite aunt?” I asked. She pointed two fingers at me like nine millimeter pistols, smiled enormously and said, “You are, Titi!”
See, I told ya!