I enjoy kids on a case by case basis. I made a crapload of money in high school by baby-sitting, but even then I didn't like every kid I met. Once I baby-sat three kids and I got paid twenty dollars an hour and I still never went back because they were little hellions. My mom used to make fun of me actually because when I would see babies, I never cooed over them the way I guess girls are supposed to. I told her it would probably be different if it was my sister's kids or if I had kids, of course I would be gaga over them.
When my sister told me she was pregnant, I was excited for her because I knew she and her husband wanted to have kids, but I was a little afraid the whole time she was pregnant that I wouldn't like her kid. Newborn babies are awfully boring, really. And babies don't start talking for YEARS. But anyway, my niece was born about 450 miles north of where I was living, so the next weekend, I drove up to meet her.
My sister actually met me at the door with her and put her in my arms before I really even had a chance to set my bag down or say hi to her or her husband. But once I was holding her, all thoughts of anything else completely flew out of my head. I was instantly captivated. And then when she started crying and I tried to give her a pacifier and she was using her little hands to push mine away so she could keep crying, I knew we would be friends. Anyone who is that fiesty at one week old is amazing.
So she's just about three now and as soon as she figures out how much she has me wrapped around her finger, I'm screwed. Actually though, until a few weeks ago, I'm pretty sure she was convinced I exist to be her playmate. It was fairly dramatic when she realized sometimes I'm an adult too. I absolutely love hearing her little voice yelling "Auntie!" over and over again as she runs to jump on me. This is usually followed by her taking my hand and saying "Come, follow me!"
Being with her calms my heart. The past two years especially have been tainted by uncertainty at greater amounts during some times than others, but every time I'm sitting and talking with her or running around outside or letting her play with my hair, all feelings of inadequacy, self-consciousness, and inferiority disappear. I am 100% comfortable with my role in life as Auntie. I can only hope as she continues to grow up and we get to know each other as people that she likes being around me too. That child has captivated my heart and I don't imagine that sense of wonder going away any time soon.