This is a post about kids growing up. How and why do they do this? I am not getting any older. Interesting.
Anyway, eight years ago I was a senior in college, just about to graduate. And on this day eight years ago my brother and sister-in-law had their second daughter. I got to see her in the hospital when she was born and was still living in DC after that so was able to see her a lot when she was a baby. And great luck befell me when they asked me to be her godmother. Granted, her godfather is now out of the picture, AND I converted to Judaism after becoming her godmother, but, hey, maybe that makes me an even better godmother because I’m an expert in two religions? But now more about my little niece!
She attended my graduation from college at a mere three weeks old. She’s always been an adorable little peanut, the tiniest little sprite, with huge personality. And really smart and thoughtful… when I was first going through my divorce, she was just 5 years old. She was the only one of all of my nieces and nephews to ever ask me about it. I tried to be sort of vague and said, he’s moved away to live somewhere else. She looked at me very seriously, and said, “Sometimes boys like to trick girls.” And that was the end of it.
(OK, but I really must add something: She “W’s her R’s,” which by the way must be “fun” for her considering her name starts with R, and it used to be much more noticeable, so when I play this moment back in my mind, it’s “boys like to twick gowols.” Might sound strange, but this is truly a favorite memory of mine!)
There she is on or around the day she asked me that question. On the left, learning what happens when you bite the end off an ice cream cone.
And she’s always been so nice to her Aunt Jen. I was visiting them in the winter during that very bad time I mentioned above, and for an entire afternoon she insisted on hugging me, sitting with me, literally PETTING me and telling me that she loved me, that my sweater was very soft, that she loved my “eawwings,” that she was glad I was there. And she had no clue what a hard time I was going through! It was incredibly healing!
Well anyway, somehow over the last eight years she’s gotten much older and I am still 21. Really, I don’t know how it happens. Pretty soon we’ll be the same age. My sister-in-law made this little collage of her on her birthday last year, so I guess she’s a cheeky 6 years old on the right.
Suddenly in the last year she’s gotten all her big teeth and looks like a young lady! She lives in another state so I don’t get to see her too often, but Facebook helps with that, and I saw some photos recently that I thought were of her older sister, but alas, it was her. And she has gone full tomboy, so I hear, and has taken up the cello. What a cool kid! I am really enjoying seeing all of my nieces and nephews grow into little big people.
Here is my grown-up virtuoso with her big sister, about to do the zip line on a recent vacation.