She sat next to me and smiled, "That dance step keeps going through my head."
"It's a lot of fun, huh?" I smiled back.
It was perhaps my favorite moment of New Year's Eve... and that's really saying a lot as it was probably my favorite New Year's Eve I've ever had.
'She' is one of my nieces (11 years old), and last Sunday I taught her the Paso Doble step, the Sixteen.
I love that it interested her. I love that she enjoyed it. I love that she cherished it.
I love that I cherished it without any resentment.
Before last year, being around my siblings' families really augmented my depression. I was beyond bitter that my siblings were allowed the most precious thing in the world to me -- a family -- while I was forced to believe that such "simply" wasn't for me in this life.
And while I loved being "Uncle Andrew!!" it hurt... a lot. All the memories I made with my nieces and nephews only dug a horribly dark hole labeled, "Things you'll never be able to do with your own kids."
Then last year happened -- well, it was actually more something that happened at the end of 2007, but anyway -- I dug out that black hole, slapped on a bright coat of paint, and relabeled it, "Things I hope to do with my kids someday."
Now every tickle, every inside joke, every dance step, every kung fu faux fight, every card game, every story, every magic trick, every hug, every kiss, every etc. is not spoiled by what I "can't" have with my own children.
I can finally cherish these memories without any sort of resentment. I can finally cherish what I do have.
And it is fantastic.