It was my niece's birthday recently.
S. turned 12.
But looong before she turned 12, she was doing things like this:
Pushing harder, to go faster,
flying down hills
only to get to bigger hills
to really fly.
And she was also doing things like this:
My nice thrives being between a rock and a hard place ...
This kid, this little girl really, has more courage and determination at the age of 12 than I had at 20. My sister often says she's reminded of me when S. does or says something, which thrills me no end. Really? Like me?! In actuality, S. is 10 x more confident than me and 50 x more daring when it comes to outdoor activities.
I think a lot of aunts, and I'll even speak for a few uncles I know, love the idea of a a niece or nephew seeming to be just like them. Maybe we don't exactly hope, for their sake, that they're just like us. We hope they'll get through middle school easier and that they won't fall for that foolish boy in the tenth grade. We hope they're better at math and don't have to deal with all that drama about some interesting fashion choices they make through-out the year.
But now we get to see life through their experiences.
We maybe, for a moment, can even pretend that they are just like us...
S. might be a little like me, I just hope she got the very best parts.