The first great grandchild of my Nan starts high school next year. I remember when she was born, and now she’ll be 12 in September.
In Canberra, I used to feel so far away from my family. So very far away. Growing up with family all over the country will do that to you I guess, but it didn’t help that our extended family, particularly on my mum’s side, was already very close. I find it strange and a little sad that there are people out there who have never benefited from the incredible friendships cousins can bring. In my dad’s family, my brother and I are the eldest grandkids, in my mum’s we are the equal third and fourth (twins take the tie position for first). I have always felt intense love for my family, and even as a shy kid I still adored them all.
My mum’s eldest nephews are now dads. Both with girls at different ends of childhood. I am sitting here in this house I know so well, that I feel completely at home in, with this tall and lanky blonde 11 year old who has a whole lot of gusto and attitude for days. She is like a walking hurricane, full of energy and a wacky sense of humour. She has shown to have such an incredible mind, and I believe that her intelligence, young entrepreneurial insights, confidence and full-tilt approach to the world will only see her go wherever she wants. I just can’t believe she is going to high school next year! What happened to the little girl who would let you read with her (for a second at least), and would make you giggle when going over her colours: “Blue; yellow; red; green; Jeff” (the purple Wiggle at the time).
And her sister, Miss 9, who was actually born on my mum’s birthday. She has similar exuberance to her sister, she just lets it out differently. She may sit quietly observing the world but will come out with a quip or remark reminiscent of the greatest comedians of dark comedy. I adore the way she still has that excited childlike quality of being so excited by an event or piece of news it rushes out, with almost no breath and in one sentence. I want so much for her to never grow up. Her sister, Miss 11, has always been a little older than her years in a lot of ways, but this one still has the wonderful innocence and sense of wonder, even with her sometimes grown up thought processes and amazingly dark sense of humour. Certainly not one you want to upset or make cross, but one to have around when you are not feeling well as she is one of the most thoughtful people you will encounter.
These two are some of my favourite things I’ve rediscovered since moving to Melbourne. They are walking, talking bundles of joy and love, and I adore them to pieces, even if they have potentially ruined my life with that ridiculous Pen Pineapple Apple Pen (PPAP as ‘the kids’ call it) song. I just can’t believe the next generation is nearly as tall as me!