Friday, December 29, 2006


My cousin tells me she had the following encounter with my four-and-a-half years old niece on Christmas Eve.

Niece: (Comes up behind Cousin, chattering happily) And then the mermaid was angry at her father!
C: Oh really? (turning to face niece)
N: (Stares, silent)
C: You thought I was someone else, didn't you.
N: Yes, I thought you were Thel.
C: No, she's over there.
N: (Turns without another word and runs across the room to me.)

While I have a sympathy cringe for my poor cousin, who after all only gets to see the nieces once a year, I have to admit it was fun to find that she was my buddy last weekend. She'll realize I'm an old fuddy-duddy soon enough. In the meantime, I will cheerfully join in her princess fantasies and her mermaid tales, and hold her hand when she crosses the street, and swing her up for piggy-back rides. And she can always feel free to save me a seat next to her at dinner.