We have our niece (nearly 6) staying with us this week - which is fine because I love her to bits and what are teacher aunties for, if not looking after nieces during school holidays. But I was sorting out our spare bedroom today ready for her, when it hit me; this darling girl, who I adore, should not be sleeping in our spare bedroom but sharing her cousin's bedroom. In a different life, her cousin would have been born 5 or so years ago, and would be less than a year younger than her.
They would be up there now, whispering and giggling, supposedly going to sleep on bunk beds. They would be getting excited about all the things that they would be doing this week. They would be swapping secrets and teddy bears; they would be happy together. I know this because this is what I did with my cousins when I was younger.
Instead of this, she's upstairs asleep (the tooth fairy has already visited) in our spare bedroom. Sleeping in solitary splendor having read her book and had lots of cuddles. We have lots plans but tonight I regret that she hasn't got a cousin to share it with. She's excited and tomorrow I will be too; but for tonight I will dream of what might have been.
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