We have a great friend Tante (as Allie calls her). She is my old landlady, the one you always hope to have when you are young and in your twenties. She made me homemade cookies and minestrone soup. She taught me how to use a wood stove and how to be a young woman without the benefit of leaning on a man to do things for me. She laid the foundation, that took me years to build on, that liking myself was more important than hoping some one else would.
That and a few more reasons is why we adopted her into our clan. Tante is retired, has no children and her family is back in Canada. Over the past few summers she has taken Allie for the day. They have had great adventures, once renting a Jeep on the Vineyard for the day. (Allie's only complaint was Tante's friends forgot to talk to her in English).
This year, Allie had her first overnight. And then another and another. Last weekend we had a wedding just down the street from Tante's home. She offered to babysit the girls for us and we jumped at the chance to go to an adult wedding and be adults.
When we went to pick the girls up that night Allie informed us she was staying. Apparently she had snuck her toothbrush, comb, clothes and all important Mimi (favored stuffed animal) into her backpack of "stuff" she just had to bring with her. We made plans to pick her up two days later.
Only to be told she would be home in September. And here is why:
They have been to the beach. The movies. Mini-golf. The beach. Pottery, yoga and pilates classes. The beach. They have ridden in bumper boats, explored museums and talked as long as Allie's eyes have remained open. They have done their nails and read books together. Ice cream and dinners out. The beach. They have had sleep overs in every bed in the house.
Including the one in my old apartment.
When she calls at night she is so full of joy and so excited to fill me in.
Tante is giving Allie all the time and adventures we cannot. Not just because of Boo. Partly, if I am honest. There are a lot of activities we pass by knowing Boo will have a panic attack, especially the beach. But even if we take Boo out of the equation I do not know if I would take a week off of work to have a stay-cation. My vacation time is already planned for family time and Boo's appointments.
When I was a little older than Allie, I had a favored Aunt that did for me what Tante is doing for Allie. I think every child should have that person in their life.
We are incredible thankful to Tante for loving Allie the way she does. For taking a week out of her summer to spoil a little girl who is just as happy sitting at the beach as she is playing mini-golf.
But I miss my girl. A week and a half is long enough. So she is coming home tomorrow.
I am sure by 7pm my ears will be bleeding as she tells me about her week.
And I will listen with a smile on my face, knowing I can send her back anytime!