I can’t even with my nephew. He’s the absolute best. His newest trick is to tell me, “You’re pretty” randomly. He likes to play nap-time and shoot me so I come back as a monster. I get to see him so rarely that I pack all the fun Auntie things into one day.

Today: broke out of day care, ate breakfast together, went to the park, saw a police car, searched for our gold fish in the woods, climbed a mountain and walked under it, went to Walmart for TWO things (and nothing else), played in a crazy caterpillar sprinkler, brought the recycling bin back from the curb, met Nonnie and Poppy for lunch, saw a fire truck, met two fire fighters and a FedEx driver, took a 2 hour nap (not for play), made cookies and chased each other as a crab (me) and an crocodile (him).

I’m going to miss t-ball games and band concerts and theater performances. He’s invited me to his birthday party 15 times, but it’s the day after I land in Kenya. I won’t see him for Christmas.

But this year, when I saw him for the first time, he recognized me. So I load up my heart and our time with as much fun and connection as I can so he knows how much he is loved by his Auntie Elaine who lives so far away. And I try to wait patiently for the next Today.