Yesterday we celebrated my niece’s fifteenth birthday.  The last year of so she seems to really be coming into her own.  She’s on the pom pom squad and a gifted student who loves science.  She’s a budding photographer and spends hours perfecting just the right look with makeup and clothing.

“Oh, she’s so like you.”  That’s what people tell my make-up hound, clothes horse sister.  And to an extent this is true.

But my brother-in-law is also a gifted photographer.

And then there’s that part that is 100% unique to my niece.  Pom poms?  The vast majority of us can barely walk straight and we have the bumps and bruises to prove it.  But she’s doing all kinds of complicated dance routines.  That said, I won’t be shocked when she knocks something over.  She is my niece.

At fifteen she’s struggling with how people expect her to be vs how she envisions herself.

What’s my job as her crazy aunt?  I give out hugs every chance I get.  I tell her she’s amazing and funny and smart.  It doesn’t matter how old you are or how you identify yourself in terms of gender.  God created each of us in love.  Finding ourselves under society’s expectations can be tough.

–SueBE

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