"JESS!!!" My heart melts a little when my 3-year-old niece answers my call on FaceTime. She's sitting at the kitchen counter eating a grilled cheese sandwich and telling me all about her day between bites--how her newest "ouchie" is on her elbow and that she learned to draw circles and squares at school.
After dinner, she runs upstairs to change into her pajamas and get tucked into bed. All comfy under the covers and propped up on her pillow, she opens up The Rainbow Fish and recites her own version of the story. Twice. She starts flipping the pages backward for round three, but my sister tells her it's time to say good night. Like me, she hates goodbyes, so she usually refuses to say it--because maybe, if we don't, it won't be true. So I try to comfort her, and myself, with the promise of another call tomorrow.
I get the same warm and fuzzy feelings when I talk to my younger niece and she proudly shows me the block tower she built. I depend on my dad's advice for all my grown-up questions, like car problems or insurance and 401(k)s. And I talk to my mom every day after work on my commute, to catch up on big things, little things and everything in between.
Everybody who knows me knows...