As some of you know, I live with my sister and her two kids. I love my niece and nephew so much and I have really enjoyed living with them the past few months. I wake to the sound of my nephew's feet hitting the floor (literally since his bed is directly above mine) and many nights I get to tuck them in and kiss them good night. It is truly a blessing to be sent out to work with a hug and a kiss from two little ones that love me so much!
These kids are as different as can be. My niece, 7, is loud from the time she wakes up until the time she falls asleep, she has her share of the selfishness of childhood, she is passionate about the things she believes in and determined to live life her way. She is also stubborn like her aunt and creative in everything. She holds a soft spot in my heart because we are kindred spirits. There have been many times when she will be acting up and my mom will look at me, smile, and say "That reminds me of someone else I know." We butt heads because we are both determined to have our way in everything and I love her for it!
And then there is my nephew, 4, who is the most passive, go-with-the-flow kid I know. He is sweet and caring and would do anything for anyone. He also has a bit of a stubborn streak to him and I love it when he plants his feet, crosses his arms and refuses to do something! This happens so rarely that it really is funny when it happens. He was the first boy in my life to capture my heart and when another boy comes along and wants to marry me, he will have a hard time taking this little man's place!
Sometimes I don't think they listen to what I say, but then I hear things that make me realize how much they really do pick up on. They know my favorite candy is smarties. They know that when I'm leaving the house I'm either going to hang out with one particular friend or I'm heading to church. And they know that I am going to love some kids in Africa.
They spent some time with Santa and Mrs. Claus the other day. Santa asked if they had any questions and my niece said "What about the kids in Africa?" Santa looked at their mom confused, likely wondering how a little girl in suburban Michigan would know anything about kids in Africa. That's my girl! She is starting to think beyond herself and her Christmas list. She may not always think about others first, but she knows that her "Yaya" thinks it's important so it must be!