When I don’t expect them, there are moments…
When my 12-year-old niece is excited to see me and leaves her friends to come say hi, either not knowing or not caring that I’m not at all cool and won’t improve her social image.
When my 5-year-old nephew spends hours playing game after game with me, mercilessly taunting me when I lose at a Mario-themed Wii baseball game, gloating as he does squealing victory laps around the basement.
When I look at the varsity football field and am stupified that the guy who just caught an interception is the nearly-grown-up version of the little nephew who loved A Goofy Movie and used to love attacks from the Tickle Monster.
When I am the one who is able to get a riled-up, sensitive, impulsive, amazing tween nephew to calm down and feel better about himself and the situation. When I watch as he annoys his older brother by wanting to be just like him, just like I did with his mom when we were growing up.
When I am not expecting them, there are moments that make me feel like being Aunt Cindy is spectacular and possibly the coolest job I’ll ever have. Few people, if any, may ever know my name, but someday, the world will know theirs, and I’ll be one of the lucky ones who gets to say, “I loved them first.”
When I’m not expecting it, I’m reminded that these kids are why the world goes ’round.