Today I got up early (for me) and drove up to Hanover to babysit my 6-year-old nephew who was staying home from school due to a strep throat relapse. Both mom & dad had to work today and I was happy to step in, since I never get quality one-on-one time with my little buddy. Thanks to modern antibiotics and the resilience of kids, he was his normal self and we spent the day playing games, (Cootie, Candyland), putting a puzzle together, and watching a couple of DVD's, (Herbie Fully Loaded; 101 Dalmations II), while I knitted.
I have twelve nieces and nephews (and one step-niece), but I have a special place in my heart for this little buddy. And he was perfectly behaved, fun to be with, a good conversationalist, I was thrilled to get some time with him, I had a blast, I love him like my own, I'll watch him again in a heartbeat, and yet I was STILL exhausted after spending six hours with him. What is it about kids, even the very best of them like my little buddy, that suck the energy out of you? I continue to gain respect for parents of small children, especially during those times when they're not perfectly behaved, which thankfully, as an aunt, I rarely have to witness. Parenting is a thankless, 24/7 job that I don't know if I could ever do, and I take my hat off to all of you.