My niece, 12-year-old Krystal, graduated from grade 6 yesterday!  Krystal is the youngest of three children and the most active – she draws, she plays baseball and her grades are pretty good, well except math, but no child in my family apart from my dad knows anything about numbers and equations.

When Krystal was born was I was 18 turning 19.  She was absolutely adorable and I felt truly blessed to have her in my life. I called her my early birthday gift from her parents because she was born exactly one week before my birthday.  I was dating Filipino boy at the time and she had him wrapped around her little finger.  She’s always been like that though.  She has a light to her that attracts friends, family and  –  well everyone to her.  She has had a rough go, with an older brother who causes more trouble that it’s worth, and an older sister who, like her aunt, demands attention and is way more drama queen then needed.  Being the one who really causes no trouble and no issues is amazing, but at the same time, she doesn’t always get the attention she deserves. 

But yesterday, looking all grown up, Krystal finally got her time to shine.  She has graduated from the 6th grade.  From William Tredway P.S where her brother, sister, father and aunt all went before her.  She is the last of our family to attend this school so there is some sadness as well. 

Unfortunately the school only allows two tickets per child to the graduation so I was unable to go, but her mom sent me pics and immediately I teared up.  She is so grown up and I don’t want her to be.  I want her to be 4 again where she was so little and cuddly.  This grown girl – almost woman – shocked me.  She was dressed in a dress I would wear, wearing my necklace, hair all done.  She was – gorgeous.  Not cute, not sweet, but gorgeous.  Can you use that word for a 12 year-old??

I was devastated not being able to attend her graduation, but I did get to see her afterwards when I got home, and the tears threatened to come again – I am a sap ain’t I?  She received an award at school and showed me that and her year book.  Next year, she will enter J.S Woodsworth – the middle school, that aids in the transition before high school.  I can’t wait to see the woman she is going to become.  7th and 8th grade were real transition years for me and I didn’t see that transition with Krystals brother or sister so it will be interesting to see if it happens for her.

Congratulations Krystal, you are my heart, my pride and joy.  I love you.  I adore you, and I am so so honoured to be your aunt.

XOXO Nikilee


I love poppy’s little helper!

Last year it somehow came out that my oldest niece R liked to wrap presents.  My father, needing an excuse to be lazy, joked about her helping him.  She fell hook, line and sinker and wrapped all of his gifts to the family (except to herself obviously).  This year the exact same thing happened.  It has become a new tradition.  R comes over, they eat Swiss Chalet – her favourite – and they turn on the Christmas tunes and wrap gifts all night until they are complete. 

Now, normally I would complain that my father does nothing and he needs to do things for himself, but he gets such a kick from her coming over and spending time with her that I can’t say anything.  I only wish I was able to have had that kind of relationship with my own grandfather (who passed when I was 6) so I bite my tongue and let them have at it. 

She loves it too.  She loves feeling helpful, and being in charge *a bit like her aunt much*  lol…this weekend was extra special because it was her 13th birthday weekend!  My niece is a teenager – two down, one left to go!  She is so small and child like that it is very hard for me to believe she is a teenager.  I mean I remember turning 13 in 7th grade and I thought I was so cool and so old – and R – well she’s just not and doesn’t even pretend to be.  I was all into clothes and friends and being outside of my fathers home…and her, well it’s the opposite.  For this I am kind of grateful.  She’s so precious and I am so proud to be her aunt and I know my dad just adores her.  She will have these memories her entire life and that is a gift I cannot deny either of them!

XOXO Nikilee