I can vividly remember receiving the call when my “niece” (a close friend’s daughter) was born and over the last six years I have watched her grow from a small baby into a confident and beautiful little girl.

As soon as she could speak she started calling me “Aunt Dannie” which made me very proud. Since then we have had some amazing conversations. For a six year old, she has the uncanny ability to ask me questions that make me think about the person, woman, sister, daughter, mother and auntie that I am.

Often times I find myself thinking really hard before answering her questions because I know she is absorbing everything I say and it’s important to respond in just the right way. She has asked me about my father and what he was like. She has asked me about how her mommy and I met. She tells me about her friends and what they talk about and she has confided with me, as six year olds do, about the responsibility of being an older sister, a responsibility I can certainly relate to.

There have been many times when I have been present for first time occasions and I feel so lucky to play such a part in her life. I have been there to see her at dance recitals and to see her blow the candles out on all her birthday cakes. But there is one event that I will never forget which is the first time she read to me.

She sat me down and asked if she could read a book to me. Of course I said yes (as it was usually me doing the reading). I must admit I expected her to recite a book that she had memorized. But when she started to talk, I could tell right away that she was actually reading the words. I sat and listened in amazement as she sounded out words she was not familiar with and gracefully flowed through those she knew. It was a really special moment.

How did this happen so fast? It seemed only a short while ago that I held her in my arms when she was only a few days old. And it didn’t seem that long ago that her mommy and I were arms and legs akimbo changing an unexpected “poopy bum” in the back seat of a car. It still amazes me how quickly children develop because there she was beside me reading a “proper” book with paragraphs and all.

She reached the end of the book and just looked up to let me know she was done. I was speechless and honored once again that I was there to capture that moment in her life. She asked with confidence and a little bit of hope, “Aunt Dannie, can I read another book to you?” And I replied, “I am so proud of you! And I would be honored if you did.”

What was the first book your child read to you or asked for you to read to them? Let us know!

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