My niece Eva turns 21 today.
That makes me the aunt of a legal drinker. Egad!
Eva was the first baby I ever cared for. I was in awe and completely smitten from day one. She was my original Little Buddy. We tore all around town causing all kinds of trouble together. She was with me when I ripped the pump off the gas tank. But that’s a story for another time.
When my sister, Valarie, returned to work after some time at home with Eva I was working part-time in a retail store, mainly evenings. So whenever she needed someone to care for an ill baby or toddler I was available. That’s when I learned how to hold, feed, bathe, and shower a young one with love and care. I also learned how to make a child tardy for school. I guess you could say that was the start of my bad mommy ways.
When Eva was in Kindergarten both of her parents had to be at work, or at least on their way, before the start of the school day. My apartment was on the way to work for her dad, Rick, a.k.a. Dren, so he would drop her off at my place before the sun came up. I don’t remember what he was doing at the time. I just remember he had to be somewhere at an ungodly hour.
Dren would knock on the door and I would answer it, taking Eva’s backpack and clothes for her to change into and we would both fall on the couch or the bed (depending on whether or not Pat was in town) and we would be out as soon as her head hit the pillow and my arm wrapped around her. Almost every morning I would wake up and look at the clock and that would start our harried routine: fling back the covers, yank off her pj’s, throw on her clothes, rake a comb through her hair, disguise my pj’s in whatever was near, and run out the door with breakfast in hand.
We were late…again….and again….and again. I don’t think Rick and Val were too happy when they got the report listing the number of tardies Eva had at the end of each semester. Oops! That’s what you get when you leave your child in the hands of an immature twenty-something who stays up until two or three in the morning.
I don’t think those Kindergarten tardies hurt her, though. She’s now a junior in college with an unbelievable GPA and has been accepted to study abroad next semester. She leaves for Botswana, Africa after the new year. I don’t see her near as much as I did when she was a little one, but thinking of her half a world away still hurts. I may have to snatch her up during the Christmas festivities and take a little joy ride with her.
Maybe we can vandalize another gas station.
Happy birthday, Eva!
I love you so much and I’m so proud of the young lady you’ve become.