My niece graduated from high school. Here is a picture of her with my kids.
She is a beautiful, intelligent, funny young woman. I have loved watching her grow and change. It seems like the biggest changes have come along in the last year. She is preparing to go to college, but I find myself thinking of the day she was born.
I was 16. She was going to be my first niece. I got the phone call from my sister while I was working at the Dari-Ette. I loved that job. I could eat all the ice cream I wanted. That particular day I was hanging letters on the sign out front. My boss told me I had to finish the sign before I could leave. I was so anxious, I just wanted to get out of there so I didn't miss it. Finally I left and went to the hospital. It turns out that she was breech and they decided on a c-section. So I waited in the waiting room with the rest of our family. I saw her dad through the window as he came to tell us the news. He made a triumphant fist and shouted, "Yes!" When I looked at her for the first time, she was very pink and very round-faced. Her lips were bright red and she was the cutest baby I'd ever seen.
When I went off to college a couple of years later, I missed her. Now she's going to college, and I will miss her again.
I'm so proud of her, happy for her, and excited to watch her life unfold.