We used to do ‘Tuck Shops’.
Out of the living room with pennies we saved from spelling and stole from underneath the sofa.
Mum and dad behind a table and we’d have a choice.
10 penny sweets.
20 penny toys.
Those balloons filled with cornflour with faces on them that broke within a week but were always our favourite.
We learnt how money worked and how to save and spend those days.
Only five years old.
We built Playmobil and hid it behind the sofa at Christmas so we could show our grandparents.
I always had the police station, my twin had the ambulance and my brother the airport.
We would get additions every birthday.
Big boxes under the tree with our names on them, filled with even more presents on the inside.
Birthdays that came and went in a blur.
Dressing up as nurses and a living room full of presents.
A celebration of existence.
We try to make our siblings’ lives as fun, even though there’s more to worry about now.
Health and hospitals and school and friends.
Life was simpler back then.
We fill the room up with presents the night before their birthdays
and spend hours wrapping Christmas presents for our 10-year-old sister who has been planning Christmas since August.
We know we wouldn’t want it any other way.
We tell each other stories at night when we’re too scared and sleep won’t come to us.
We watch out the windows as the sun sets and we wonder at the beauty of this world and this
creation and often forget we are a part of it.
Some of us more slowly than we had originally planned but we know that’s okay and that sunflowers are different heights.
We realise that maybe life wasn’t meant to be lived alone and that a big family in a little home is a
We slide in and out of friendships, of love.
And we slip.
Slip through our parents’ fingers.
Through our own.
And adulthood approaches too fast
and there are days we can’t hold the pieces of our childhood as it too slips away.
Our little sister turns thirteen and suddenly it is all too clear that this is it.
This is adulthood.
This feeling of nostalgia won’t go away.
And we will spend forever trying to replicate the fairytales of our childhood.