I come from one of those large Southern families where titles like "Aunt" and "Grandmother" are often given like a knighthood. I say "given," but they are earned. Usually through love.
I was a lucky kid. I had a handful of grandmothers. Two were the mothers of my parents, and others I considered to be extra grandmothers--like my great aunt, who has always been Et--a nickname that stuck with her since she was a girl.
My Aunt Et spoiled me when I was a kid. I often stayed with her after school, and she let me eat cake batter out of a bowl while watching "The Dukes of Hazzard." She never told my mother when I misbehaved (which was likely more often than I think). She has been a grandmother to me my whole life, sharing in my joys and hardships. I've learned a lot from her, but in honor of her 88th birthday today, I'll list a few that stick out.
1. Wash your hands. You'll live longer. (And we all know where they've been.)
2. Cake tastes better when it's shared.
3. The same goes for happiness and good news.
4. A girl can have as many grandmothers as she wants.
5. It's easy to be kind. So why not be?
6. Everybody needs a second home, where they can eat cake batter with a big spoon, watch ridiculous t.v. shows, have tantrums over pimento cheese sandwiches, and not be judged.
7. Call your friends as often as you can.
8. You can never say "I love you" too much.
9. Sometimes smiling at a stranger leads to a lifelong friendship.
10. Sometimes you have to buy a girl a stuffed parrot. Because years later, it will remind her that she did something well, and that someone noticed.
11. If you have a kind spirit, you will never be alone.
Happy Birthday, Aunt Et. I am a kinder person because of you.
Labels: aunt, birthday, lessons, list