“Be careful!” My mother says, handing me the big candle. I nod. I understand. This is a very big and serious task. I am being allowed to light the candles on the tables for the party my parents are having. My younger cousin, Len follows me outside. He wants to light candles too, but he’s not allowed. I’m only allowed - because I am older.
In our yard my father has put lots of tables and chairs and hung coloured lights on the fence. He is busy putting in the last of the light bulbs and he smiles at me from the top of the ladder. I walk very carefully with my candle from table to table. Len helps me by pulling the candles closer for me to light. Each table has a little bowl with a small candle. They are my mother’s bowls – pink, soft green and lemon. As each candle is lit they glow like magical lotus blossoms floating on the white tablecloths. It looks so pretty. I want to stay here forever with the stars above me and the candles and coloured lights.
My mom lets us put out little bowls of peanuts and biscuits on each table too. Len keeps eating the nuts. I frown at him and drag him away from the tables. He is a year younger than me and still a baby. I am five. I am BIG. He’s just four. I have to tell him what to do, what to be careful of, and he listens to me… sometimes. Sometimes he just laughs and runs away.
I like being older. Len has to go to bed, but his brother Alan and I will be allowed to stay up later. We will get to see the grown ups dancing and throwing streamers. I’m not sure why grown-ups throw streamers, but I like them. The colours are pretty. We sit on the step into the house and watch them dancing. Sometimes we go hide under the tables and eat nuts and watch legs and shoes going past. It’s good being older.