Monday, January 17, 2011

Lessons from my Niece

Kids teach us so many lessons. But I have to say, I've learned more about "being a woman" from my niece than any 30-year-old should learn from a 4-year-old.
I will say that she has been extremely girly, ever since she was little.
She makes sure that she always coordinates everything. And maybe it's Gymboree's fault, with their tights that match the skirt that match the cardigan that match the hairbow. But my niece is all about matching.
She takes risks with her looks, too, though. She'll put together shades of colors that would make any fashion expert cringe, in theory. But when she's tearing through the house and all you see is a blur of orange and pink, somehow it works.
And, every day is a fashion show.
The other night I was at my sister's house and my niece called down from upstairs, "Aunt Christy, have you seen my new snowflake pajamas?" and I called back, "Yes, they're very pretty."
When meeting Santa,
look your best.
"Oh," she said. Pause. "What pajamas haven't you seen?"
Because she's always wanting to show off something new. (Turns out, I hadn't seen her butterfly pajamas, in case you were wondering.)
Lesson #1: Be yourself, look good, but most of all, feel great about it, all the time.
In addition to looking great all the time, my niece also ... works it. One night during the holidays, we were playing cards at my sister's house and the kids were saying goodnight to us and heading upstairs. Well, we could see the wheels turning in my niece's head, trying to figure out a way to prolong the goodnights and hold off on bedtime. She made her way around the table, hugging and kissing everyone and whispering sweet nothings, as she often does. Alas, she finished saying goodnight. So she stood next to the table for a second and then called out in a sing-song voice: "Who wants another kiss?!" Well, who doesn't, right? So around she went again.
My mother, brother and I took my niece and nephew to Gatti-town during the holidays and we put my niece on the carousel. I was a little nervous because I think it was the first time she'd ridden it completely alone. I ran around to one side of the carousel to wave and take pictures as it went around. Well, I was in for it.
Each time she came around, she was in a different pose: both hands raised, or her feet up on the horse's ears, or leaning back in a trick-riding pose, or giving a stately, queen-like wave.
Lesson #2: Work it, girl! Who wants another kiss? EVERYONE.
Some things just come naturally. But they are still things we can learn from her.
My brother told me this story from one of the Christmas parties he was at with my niece. 
Brother to niece: Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are?
Niece: No. Tell me about it.
Brother: Well, you're very beautiful.
Niece: And what about my dress?
Lesson #3: Get the most out of compliments.
And finally, Katie told me this story after baby-sitting my niece and nephew one night. They had watched Meet the Robinson's and during the credits, Katie noticed that my niece was crying. Katie tried to find out what was wrong - did she miss her mom and dad? did something happen? was she sad? And finally, my niece told her:
"Sometimes you don't cry because you're sad. Sometimes you cry because things are so beautiful."
Lesson #4: Enjoy the beauty in everything.


  1. THAT GIRL! She is something else. I think we can all learn a little something from that girl!

  2. OH. My. Goodness! Beautiful lessons ... and obviously a wise little soul, she is.