Today is one of my darling niece's birthdays. I am so lucky that my sisters had daughters for me to fawn over, without me having to deal with their teenage histrionics. As the youngest of the siblings, I first became an Aunt when I was 11, and then again when I was 14. I always felt very close to my older niece, KM; but I didn't really feel like I became an Auntie to my younger niece, Meghann, until recently.
The weirdest part about that is this young woman is more like me than a daughter of my own could possibly have been. I adore her. She is her own person, not ever compromising her personality or her beliefs for anyone, anytime or anywhere. She has been that way since she was a toddler.
Of course, back then we just called her stubborn. Now we call her that tree-hugging, granola-crunching, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie-chick. I'm just kidding, we only call her that behind her back... But, for real, she has a tattoo of a tree on her foot. Her FOOT! It is fucking awesome!
Two years ago when her mother moved out of state, I started having her over once a week for dinner. I wanted to get to know her better, and I wanted her to have someone in the area that she could go to if she needed it. Turns out, I rely on her a lot now also. I'm not the only one, she is like my son's older sister. His first word wasn't Mama, it was "Eggy". The bond between them is strong.
Megallah, I love you more than I can measure. I'm grateful for the time we have shared over the past couple of years. You're like a daughter from another mother. I love that we share a love of food and cooking, both of our passions. Thank you for letting me into your life and letting Tuesday Night Dinner become much more than just dinner.
I think I can safely speak for all of us when I also say thank you for not burping once at your birthday dinner this week. And, good call on asking me to make an untried recipe called Shrimp Limone with pasta and asparagus - holy mother of God that was delicious!
Meghann gave me permission to share some photos from her childhood, but she didn't get to approve them, ha-ha. I decided not to post anything more recent than about 16 years ago, so unfortunately you cannot see what a beauty she has become (unless you know me on Facebook, of course).
I call this one "Elfen Magic" (would you look at those adorable baby rolls?!)
Always with the tongue hanging out
Did Auntie give you a bunny for Easter?
Auntie also made you a tie-dye for Easter, your Mommy let you wear it for your second birthday
Sweet, fearless girl holding Auntie's python (yes, that was my real python)
Professional photo shoot, she wanted to wear Auntie's hat
The first night of Desert Storm (she's saluting)
1993 visiting Auntie when I lived in The Keys (I think she was practicing her Thriller moves)
The southern most point in the continental United States, Key West (me on the right, my sister Bouf on the left)
October, 1993 with Auntie at the pumpkin patch (I don't know where she got that sticking her tongue out thing)
22 hours ago