I think these things as I hold her in my arms.
She has yet to walk, to talk, to grow, to know, to see. To be.
Life hasn't crushed her dreams, or made them a reality yet.
She hasn't felt the yearning of the heart, or the burning of a heartbreak.
She is protected.
And I hate the thought, that one day, at one moment in time, she might not be.
There will be a time when someone will not be by her side to protect her from something, When someone can't protect her from something. And that is when I will be there to help her pick up the pieces, to put her back together again, and to teach her how to move on.
I will be there to hear about dreams, to hear about hopes, to listen to her rantings, and to remind her that the current coolest boy in school may not be the love of her life just yet.
I will be there to pick out shoes, to 'ooh' and 'aah' over prom dresses, and one day to help her get ready for her wedding.
I will take her places she's never been, and give her experiences that only an Aunt can give a Niece.
And one day she will repay the favor. She is my training, for the day I become a mother.
But for now I just hold.