Being in treatment was a blessing in disguise in so many ways. One of these blessings was that my time off from work freed me up to spend time in Milton visiting my sister and her newborn, my niece, Emmeline. She was born just after I started treatment on October 2, 2010. Her birth signaled new life in our family, and we were all very excited when she arrived.
It turns out newborns are pretty boring. They sleep all the time (if they're good), and if/when they wake up, they're feeding! Caring for a newborn is rough!
But then Emy started to walk. Shortly after, she started to sign, and now, she's trying to hard to talk and communicating with you in ways you have to be with her long enough to learn how to guess. She runs around faster than she should (resulting in a bump on the head just before Auntie Vonnie got married) and loves to dance, play peekabo, and scream-laugh.
It's easy to love Emy, but I didn't fall in love with her until I babysat her a few weekends ago. Her adorable, insistent nods when you point to the Sesame Street YouTube video she wants to watch and the way she repeats something over and over after you laugh the first time totally won me over. She is the smartest and cutest kid on the planet.
The only thing I hate about my niece is how far away she is from me, and how working full-time prevents me from spending the quality time I so desire with her. But, remembering what a symbol of hope Emy's birth was to my family at a time when we so desperately needed it reminds me to make the time to be with her.
That little girl is my family's shining bright star - and I can't wait to see her again this weekend!