On Being An Aunt

I had an amazing experience today. A had a conversation with a little girl born almost 7 years ago whose entire body fit along the length of my forearm and hand. I'd called to wish her a happy 7th birthday and for the first time ever had a full on conversation. "I'm watching the Chocolate Factory," she said. "Would you like to go to a real one?" "A real chocolate factory?!" "Yes, there's one in the East Bay where Auntie lives, would you like to go?" "Yah!!"

Finally, after all these years of consuming commercial, pseudo-cultural little girl crap, I felt my idea was something she could really enjoy, versus the colored pencils and notebook with kitties I'd bought yesterday. "Then for your Birthday, Auntie will take you to the chocolate factory, okay? You tell Mama when you want to come and I'll arrange it. Happy Birthday Honey!"

This time last year, she was still in the answering/abandoning the phone phase- this lasted about 2 years. She'd answer and when you said who you were, she'd put it down and run off with the message of who was on the line, completley forgetting to say anything back into the phone before doing so.

Prior to that, conversations were out of the question- though I suppose the silly games that elicited that little girl cackle were a sacred kind of communication. That's mostly gone now- at least on surface. Right now, it's about being with her friends and being cool- Auntie visits aren't as much a highlight.

But the chocolate factory conversation has marked the passing of 7 years. At 7, my parents separated and Dad became a weekly conversation and visits for the summer in the state he moved away to. Happy Birthday Lucky Seven Girl! Thank you for the magic you've brought into my life these years.



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