Our nephew, Henry, came to stay last night. He’s nearly 16, and he and Will have always got on very well. For around four years when the kids were babies/toddlers, we lived next door to each other, and were quite close, but as the years have gone by, and Henry’s parents (Ashley’s brother and his wife) split up and subsequently divorced, both have new partners and new extended families, we see very little of each other these days, despite the fact we live only about 10 miles apart.
I do still see my former sister-in-law – we had lunch only last week, actually – but not so much of the kids or of Ashley’s brother and his new family.
Henry and his sister, Gabriella, were both born very prematurely (three months premature in Henry’s case – he weighed only 1lb 12oz), and both were in hospital for a long time and have grown up with certain issues which, when they were smaller, impacted quite negatively on their behaviour. They were both hard work – quite a handful, very ‘full-on’ and not instilled with an awful lot of discipline (probably because of their difficult start in life). Put it this way, I used to kind of dread them coming round, because I knew that the house would be trashed, they’d be lippy, toys would get broken etc, etc.
However, what a difference a few years make.
Henry, who is taking his GCSEs this year, and has ambitions to work in the Fire Service, has become a really lovely young man – polite, well-mannered, entertaining and chatty, well-spoken and a real pleasure to be around. Much the same with his sister, Gabriella. They really have turned into lovely young people.
Isn’t is funny how time changes us all?