We had Glenn's family over for dinner last night to celebrate my brother-in-law's birthday and to finish our Chanukah/Christmas celebration. It was a fun evening.
I love being around my nieces and nephews. Well, let me clarify that - I love my nieces and nephews, but, it's not always easy being around them. Spending time with my nieces is harder for me. The boys are 12 and 15 - 7 and 10 when I first met them. I love spending time with them and feel like I've been an influence on them, but, they were both a little older when I met them. That's not to say that there aren't times when I find myself sad being with them, but, it's not as baby oriented because they are older.
The girls, on the other hand, are 8 and almost 4. The older one was 3 when I first met her and the little one was born 3 months before our wedding. It's not that I don't love being with the girls, but, it is often quite difficult. It's even harder because, while the mother of the boys totally understands why it would be hard for me, but, mother of the girls doesn't get it at all. So, in front of her, I have to work harder to hide my sadness, which only makes it even more difficult. At one point last night, the 4 year old was sitting on Glenn's lap facing him and they were playing together and hugging. Nobody else in the room was paying attention to them, while I couldn't take my eyes off of them. It literally felt like someone put their hands around my heart and started squeezing. My sister-in-law would never understand that.
Anyway, my parents left and, a little while later, everyone else left, except my brother-in-law, sister-in-law, and the girls. The 8 year old wanted to see my room, so we went upstairs, with the little one following. They started jumping on my bed. Let me tell you, the glee on the face of a 4 year old jumping on the bed may be one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.
Then, the 8 year old went in my closet and saw my shoes and asked if she could try them on. Of course, her little sister joined her, and, next thing I knew, there were two little girls clomping around in my heels, and my sandals, and my boots, etc.... I grabbed some scarves and some purses and dressed them up further and they started dancing in front of the mirror and singing songs and my heart just melted.
When we came back down (with scarves and purses, but, sans shoes - little feet should not walk down the stairs in size 10's!) both my sister-in-law and her mother (who was up from Florida visiting) gave me the you-have-the-patience-of-someone-who-doesn't-have-children look and said something along the lines of "we don't let them do that" and "better at your house...".
I truly hope I NEVER feel that way.