Somehow I earned the title of Ghana's favorite auntie. Many folks who know me also know that after 3:30 kids aren't necessarily my favorite. I love everything about them, their giggles, their strange questions and crazy ideas during the school day, but after that I value peace, quiet and clean hands. Living in Ghana has put an abrupt end to my solitude and opened my heart and home in ways I never thought I was capable of.
Last Sunday, Samuel called and said, "Please, we are coming." How naive of me, but I thought "we" was simply his wife, children and him. Instead, I came down the stairs, rounded the corner and found
9 cuties lined up on the edge of the couch, sitting tall and stiff like the Von Trapp children. When I asked them to introduce themselves,
they followed suit by standing up down the line, stating their first and last name, followed by their age. What is one to do with 9 little ones, ages spanning from 3-16 on a lazy Sunday afternoon? Run to the kitchen, find cake and chips, feed them and then bust out the drums. In line with the usual festivities at Auntie's house, we drummed and boogied into the evening, laughing all the way. At some point we figured the more the merrier and got the neighbor and her kids in on the action as well. 11 drummers drumming. And of course, at the end of it all, the entire lot piled into the Kia tired and full-bellied, with one last nugget of chocolate in their hands to savor another time.
Wait, I'm seeing a pattern. Maybe it's the good chocolate at Auntie's house that brings them in droves.
I spent the majority of Saturday hopping around town with a 17-year-old in tow and in search of the perfect dormitory snacks. Priscilla is headed off to her second semester at secondary school and was in need of provisions. As we filled her bags with a four month's supply of corn flakes, powdered milk and TP, we decided to spice things up a bit. One step inside the US Commissary and her eyes popped out of her head at the sight of things she never dreamed she could eat. A quick introduction to the world of Tootsie Pops, Doritos and Cherry Coke led to a full trolley and her road to the most envied girl in school.
Whatever it is that makes them come my way is irrelevant. The point is that the door will always be open. Suddenly that uninterrupted evening or weekend quiet time just doesn't matter much. It's the squeals of delight, the light in the eyes and the little love notes left on my fridge that make it all mean something. Whether they call in advance or I find myself the victim of a pop-over visit, I find myself secretly loving my new role as Auntie.