One day when my nephew is older he will say ‘Auntie Tonks, what did you do for fun before you were old (by which he means 30)?’ I will tell him this:
Ollivander, when I was younger my favourite thing to do on Friday night was to meet you and your Mum at Costco for pizza. Perhaps to some not the most glamourous of evenings – but those people just haven’t had Costco’s amazeballs cheese pizza with FIVE TYPES OF CHEESE and free cola refills and then a chocolate ice cream in a crunchy, crunchy cone – also, as a side note, the reason why the world is full of fat people (TOTES WORTH IT). And maybe the prospect of FIVE TYPES OF CHEESE and free cola refills will still not entice people (they are rubbish) to my ideal Friday night.
These people probably do not have a great BFF to hang out with, or a beautiful baby boy whose face lights up in a grin of recognition when he sees his Auntie Tonks. To sit down with your mum and discuss the week’s events and things on TV and great books and people who are stupid while avoiding your filthy, food covered hands and making sure you understand that AUNTIE DOESN'T SHARE FOOD BECAUSE IT’S ICKYPANTS AND UNSANITARY is one of the greatest things in the world.
Even better are all the Costco cafeteria games we have played. Whether it was galloping around the tables in Auntie’s arms, practising our walking while you held my hand, or once you found your feet when I chased you around the tables, or pushed the trolley and made VROOM VROOM VROOM noises. I am proud to say that I taught you how to reverse and the appropriate BEEP BEEP BEEP noises to make before we proceed (you now use them in all situations requiring reversing and I love having such influence over you).
Your proud little grin will always make my day. Even when I so sad I just wanted to sit down and cry, or the whole world just felt so insurmountably horrible, you always made it better. A laugh, a hug, an air-blown kiss and your adorable face of excited wonderment were all I needed to make my day magic and provide memories I will cherish forever. Knowing that I have even the smallest amount of influence in making you happy, feel loved and special, safe and valued and help you explore the world fills me with hope for the future and allows me to find the magic and wonder in the world again too.
I can only hope that I can, in any small way, return that favour.