Eldest adopted niece will shortly be turning 18. Where does the time go? I can date the time when I first properly got to know her as it was her last year before starting high school.
The reason I know this is because of the following (by now apocryphal) tale:
Over that year or so I’d become increasingly good friends with her parents (and now count my blessings regularly to consider them some of the best sorts of friends one could ever hope for). At some point in this year they decided it would be hilarious to get their three girls to start referring to me as “Aunty 1iz who we love lots and lots”, in the mistaken belief that my lack of desire to have my own children, combined with my vocal dislike of kids squawking in public, signified a general dislike of children and therefore the opportunity on their part, for good sport.
In reality, the former condition is a dislike of the 24/7 thing – I quite like other people’s kids as long as I can give them back after a few hours, and the latter is I believe a crime that should be levelled at the parents not the brats, sorry I mean children, in question.
Sure I may from time to time ponder about whether "Children Farms" are the way forward...but I'm only partly serious.
Being “Aunty 1iz”, who they love lots and lots, let’s not forget) is actually good fun and my three adopted nieces each delight me in their own uniquely different ways.
Come the summer of that fateful year, the eldest, K, was allowed to come to Greenbelt and in the course of the week spent a degree of time with her Aunty 1iz (WSLLaL). We got on great – she’s ace to spend time with.
On the final day I get her enraged father on the phone, demanding to know “what have you done?”.
I, entirely genuinely, explain that I know not of what he speaks.
His response: “K has dyed her hair red to be like Aunty 1iz. It won’t wash out and she starts high school this week!”.
I can only reaffirm my innocence in the matter and suggest that this might be what is called “having the last laugh”.
So that dates it I guess. Seven years down the line and K is turning 18.
Aunty 1iz (who has come to love all three of them lots and lots) is now at a loss as to what to buy K for a birthday present.
In passing conversation, her mother relates that K wants to “go blonde” for her 18th party. I suck my teeth and observe that given she’s been dying it darker of late she needs to be careful and to make sure she doesn’t go for a cheap salon.
Her mother replies that what K would ideally like would be to use Aunty 1iz’s colourist, but this of course comes with a decidedly “working adult” price tag.
An idea was born and two birds were slain with one stone this afternoon as K joined me in enjoying the artistic mastery of my colourist S.
It feels like an appropriate present, a coming full circle, a coming of age ritual. Grown up hair care for a young woman who has grown up so beautifully.
Still we’re both also still young at heart…as can be witnessed by our giggling as we go for a few post-hair cocktails in Zinc (well her ID says she’s 26 after all ;-) ).
Shopping, hair, cosmos...as K texts to her boy - living the dream.