There are times that I wish I owned a teleporter. Actually, pretty much every day I wish I had a teleporter. It would make things a bit easier, especially when it comes to being part of family events. When I moved here, I knew I would be giving up the ability to see my family every day. I mean, I kinda had to, right? The good thing is that my family is really good about keeping me updated on events and life in general back home. Today, I even got to talk my 2 year old niece, Anabelle, on the phone and for the first time, she was able to clearly say, “I love you, Manda.” It was quite possibly one of the most heartwarming moments of my life! I am looking forward to my trip home this summer so that I can hug and squeeze that little sweetie pie!
I love my nieces equally, but my family and I know there’s a different dynamic to it all since I moved away. Since Anabelle was born shortly before I left Austin, I haven’t had the chance to spend much quality time with her. Vanessa, her older sister, on the other hand has gotten spend so much quality time with me since the day she was born. I even make it a point when I go home for visits to treat her to a special day of shopping and playtime at the park just so she knows that she can take a break from being “the big sister” and just have focused special time. It’s something she always looks forward to. Now that Anabelle is learning to talk and move around a lot easier, I’ll be able to do more special things with her when I go home as well and I’m really looking forward to that! I’ll be the first to admit that those girls have me wrapped around their little fingers. 😉
This past Monday, Vanessa graduated from Kindergarten and I could not be more proud! One thing that I’ve always been a big advocate for is education. I used to babysit my niece a lot when I was in Austin and I always took out a lot of time to read books to her and to tell her stories. She was big on asking questions and was always the curious observer. Every time I go home, I bring back a new batch of books to share with her. I’m thankful that my other family members also take time to read books to her because now, she’s a certified book worm! Her little sister is the social wild child who loves to play and cause a ruckus, and Vanessa is content to sit in a corner reading quietly, getting lost in stories. So you can imagine just how proud I was when my sister sent me pictures and stories from Vanessa’s graduation:
And because of her incredible love for reading, she got a special award for it!
Her teacher announced that she is the only one in the class who has overachieved her reading skills. To pass the 1st grade, you need to read at Level 3. Vanessa reads at Level 10! Wow! Thank you for encouraging her to read and for buying her all those books!
— text message from my sister
I know it seems silly that I would get so excited for a Kindergarten award, but I am! I know that this is just one step closer to her having a quality educational experience! I don’t know what she will grow up to become. The way she imitates people and tells stories, she might be an actress. The way she reads and soaks up information, she might be a researcher. She may be a dancer, a cheerleader, a world-traveler, a rock star, a mother, a nurse, or even a political official. Whatever she chooses to be, I feel confident that she’ll succeed, knowing that she is rising to new challenges and learning so much by her own volition at such a young age. Seeing her grow like that just makes me a super proud Aunt!