I would like to say,
for the record,
I hate my hair being pulled from the root
as much as the next person.
I hate spit even more --
especially the kind that is streaked down my arm or
pools nice and neatly on my hand.
I hate snot even more as it bubbles up
and drips down red faces,
sometimes seeping into open mouths and then slowly dribblles down chins.
I hate earth-shattering screams being thrown
directly into my eardrums and I love sleeping in on Satudays,
snuggling my pillow tightly and burrowing under the covers like an oversized hamster.
I love "me time" and I love having food to myself, not
having to spoon feed it to another while simultaneously watching
"Elmo in Grouchland" for the umpteenth time.
These things are clearly not awesome. I could and would live a very happy and very peaceful existence without them.
I love hearing the twinkling giggle of a child as my fingers
spider-crawl their way across her stomach.
I love watching her little feet bound down the sidewalk as I chase her,
letting out coarse, "witch's cackles" as I do.
I love hearing her gurgle out newly discovered words
as well as her chipper unintelligable babble.
I love watching her large brown eyes spark up as I walk into a room
and feeling her tiny hands barely be able to wrap
themselves around my calves and latching on.
And as a fresh batch of giggles erupt from her mouth, bouncing off of every surface in the room,
I can feel a smile stretch across my face,
because I make her happy.
I make her laugh.
She calls for me when she cries at night, scared of the dark
and I'm the light she sees.
The best, no, the most awesome part of life,
is knowing no matter how many friends shove me down,
no matter how many tests I fail,
no matter how many people break my heart and tell me I'm not needed,
is knowing my niece, who has barely knows anything,
knows I make her feel happy and safe and loved.
And that means more to me than any of those friends, tests, or loves mean to me.