I just said goodbye to my niece, the oldest. She’s twelve and the two of us have a pretty special relationship. When she was little, she was just as close with her other aunt, my sister, but she now has kids of her own and a lot less time to play the doting aunt.
So the niece, who can be a bit of a Whirlwind (ADHD will do that), spent the night last night and we had a great time.
I realized, at some point, that when we’re together alone, I imagine what my life would be like if things were different, if she were my kid, not my niece. And I ache a bit for that imaginary life, both for me and for her, as her needs fall through the cracks quite a bit in the real world.
At the same time, I know that raising a child is not the same as borrowing one for the weekend, and that with all my notions of how I could parent her better, I also know that there’s no way to know that—it is possible I could mess up way more than has been done so far in her life.
But Miss Famous and I sure loved having her around.
My oldest niece spent the night with me last night. In the past I have referred to her as “the Whirlwind” because of her boundless energy. (ADHD doesn’t hurt, either.) She was really looking forward to staying the night with me, her favorite aunt, if I do say so myself (it helps to not have three little ones age 5 or under to distract from lavishing her with attention, as the other aunt does).
We went to the mall and walked around for hours, as only an 11-year-old on the cusp of turning 12 can do. While there, she jumped on the bungee jumping thing and did countless backflips and attracted quite a crowd admiring her skill. (Sorry for the quality of the photo; it was the only one that didn’t show her face, but you get the idea).
Today we walked around downtown, went to the park, walked around the neighborhood, where if there was anything remotely dangerous, she wanted to do it:
She is the same niece that skillfully climbed to the top of this “rock” climbing contraption in seemingly record time (not this weekend, though):
We watched movies last night and she stayed up way past her bedtime.
I asked her today what her favorite part was and she said, “Just spending time with you and being with you.”
I can’t beat that.
Here at Dreaming of Quiet Places, we (and by “we” I mean Miss Famous and I, and by Miss Famous and I, I mean, I) have decided to join the long and venerated internet tradition of Friday Dog Blogging. But, we here at DoQP also are suckers for some good alliteration, and so we are calling our dog blogging “Famous Fridays.” Guess why.
The photos you get to see today of little Miss Famous, are of two different occasions when she was subjected to dressed up by my oldest niece, with whom we were living until just a little bit ago.You see in this photo, my niece, the Whirlwind, has dressed Miss Famous up in one of her own T-shirts. Miss Famous is very patient with playing dress-up, though saying that she enjoys it would be going a bit too far, I think.In this shot, you can almost see her little brain trying to say, “How much longer do I have to stand here?” And for some reason, the Whirlwind decided to put this sticker saying, “lunch alert” on the poor doggy’s head. She’s a good girl (the dog, not the niece).
Below, you can see Miss Famous wearing an arm “sling” of sorts that the Whirlwind had made for herself, but ended up putting on the dog. Who knows why?Why, I cannot tell you, but I can tell you that the Whirlwind LOVED putting this little sling on Miss Famous–to the point that it was threatened with confiscation if she didn’t get her chores done.