Alexia Geldenhuys van Zyl
I do not have any children, and at this stage of my life that is a very good thing. I am not even 24 years old and the closest thing that I have to a child is my cat, Puddims. But I do have a goddaughter, and there is little that I love more in the world than spoiling her rotten.
Yesterday was Alexia's third birthday, so Grant and I headed over to the Geldenhuys/Van Zyl house with our hands filled with the presents that we had found (and made) for her. The look on her face when we walked in was priceless as she saw the giant frog that could not be wrapped surrounded by Hello Kitty covered gifts. Not being old enough to open them herself, I had to help her by making the first tear and then watching her pull it and exclaim "BABY!" as she unwrapped each individually wrapped fluffy toy, followed by her other gifts which she was less excited about naming, but more excited about playing with. Grant and I always get Alexia fluffy toys, possibly because I want to get them but cannot possibly justify keeping them for myself, so end up giving them to someone who I know will appreciate them as much as I do. But this birthday, we decided that she was getting old enough to start learning as well. So we got building blocks with the alphabet and numbers and pictures on them so that she can start getting some learning in while she plays. We also got her bath gel that we know will cause her hours of joy and her parents hours of cleaning up - a toy that no parent would get their own child, but that others feel no guilt in buying.
Watching Alexia play with her toys always makes me feel young. She plays with such abandon, with such vigour as though this is the best thing in the whole wide world. I miss being that age, when every new toy is the best thing in the world and disappointments are short lived. It's certainly a good mindset to have, but one that we, as adults, have some trouble getting to grips with. But for now, I am more than happy to watch from the sidelines as Alexia grows and hope that I will be there for her when the frivolities of life start to fade and seriousness starts taking over.