This was originally written on 9/3/11

My very first niece, Trinity, happened to also be my first experience with a baby/child. I am very anxious to hold babies because I think I may hold their neck incorrectly and they will die. I cringe at watching nurses handle a fragile, little newborn. However, I put on a brave face and agreed to watch her one night for a few hours when she was only months old. I began freaking out when I couldn’t get her to burp like she was supposed to after feeding. I bothered my sister a few times before she finally gave in and said she would come home.

She is now 10 years old and I have no idea where the time has gone. However, she is just like any other 4th grade girl. She is in “love” with Justin Bieber, her favorite show is iCarly, and her favorite colors are pink and purple. I’m by far not the best aunt in the world; I don’t buy them toys every year and I rarely ever babysit. So, I am throwing out all the excuses and taking the time to get to know this little lady.

She is sitting on a stool in the kitchen, pulling apart her string cheese and answering my questions. Her eyes are glued to the tv screen. I ask what her favorite subject in school is and she mentions that it is Science.

I ask, “Why is that?”

“Because it’s fun,” she tells me.

I don’t waste any time to get to the good stuff and decide to ask her if she likes any boys. She is hypnotized by the tv show and mentions that she does like boys. She displays no emotion which makes me wonder if she is actually paying attention to me.

“Is there a certain boy that you like at school?”

A smile creeps along her face that lets me know there is. “Yeah, Zack from class,” she replies bashfully. She briefly mentions that she has not yet told him how she feels and says nothing more.

Through more questioning, I find out that she enjoys being active. Each Saturday morning in the fall she attends bowling. But her favorite sport to play is kickball.

“Would you like to try out any other sport?” I ask. She takes a minute to think and replies gymnastics and/or perhaps soccer. I can visually see her running with a ball to score a goal, and hope she does take up soccer. She has no problem saying what is on her mind and with two other brothers at home, she likes to win.

I recall a few weeks ago when Trinity had gotten all “dolled” up for an event. She looked so cute. And then she pulled out the giant, gold, hoop earrings. My mouth dropped to the floor. It didn’t seem right that she should have interest in those things. She should be more concerned about how long the event was going to take because she wanted to play with her friends. But, I do remember I was the same way at her age. I wanted to be a grown up and make grown up decisions. I told her she needs to enjoy being a kid and not wish she that she were older. She looked at me as though I had just said the silliest thing she ever heard.